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Division of Fishes,
U. S. National Museum
No. XXIIL— October.}
ZOOLOGY OF SOUTH AFRICA;
CONSISTING CHIEFLY OF
FIGURES AND DESCRIPTIONS OF THE OBJECTS OF NATURAL HISTORY
AN EXPEDITION INTO THE INTERIOR OF SOUTH AFRICA,
IN THE YEARS 1834, 1835, AND 1S3G;
FITT3D OUT BY
" THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE ASSOCIATION FOR EXPLORING CENTRAL AFRICA :
A SUMMARY OF AFRICAN ZOOLOGY,
AND AN INQUIRY INTO THE GEOGRAPHICAL RANGES OF SPECIES
IN THAT QUARTER OF THE GLOBE.
BY ANDREW SMITH, M.D.,
SURGEON TO THE FORCES, AND DIRECTOR OF THE EXPEDITION.
ftobtfefjett wfttv t^e Hutijoritg of tl>c Sorts Commt&itotwr$ of fctv IHafcatg'tf €wa$urg.
SMITH, ELDER AND CO. CORNHILL.
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STEWAKT AHD MUKBAY, OLD BAILEX.
ECHINORHINUS OBESUS.— Smith.
Pisces. — Plate I. (Male.)
E. obesus ; capite supra, dorsoque ad pinnam primam plumbeis ; dorsi partibus posterioribus, corporis
lateribus, abdomineque cupreo-flavis, purpureo brunneoque umbratis ; mento, nasi lateribus, maculaque
pone oculos albis; oculis cupreo-viridibus.
Colour. — The head and back, as far as the first dorsal fin, dark leaden
grey; the rest of the back, the sides and the belly, pale coppery yellow
clouded with purple and brownish tints ; and the belly besides is marked
with blotches of light vermillion red ; the fins towards their bases reddish
brown tinged with dull grey, towards their extremities a lighter shade of the
same colour ; chin, sides of muzzle, and sometimes a spot behind the eye, dull
white ; eyes, coppery green.
Form, &c. — Body very thick in proportion to its length, with only a slight
diminution in size towards the tail ; the back in front of the first dorsal fin
nearly straight ; the head flat above, and slightly sloping to the muzzle,
which is rounded ; nostrils transverse, and each partially divided by a narrow
membranous lobule, which projects backwards from its anterior margin ; their
position is nearly over the most projecting or central portion of the upper
jaw, considerably nearer to the eyes than the tip of the snout, and about half
way between the latter and the angle of the mouth. Eyes, rather nearer to a
line raised from the angle of the mouth than to the nostrils ; pupil, circular
and small ; postocular spiracle, scarcely visible. Gape, wide and arched,
having at each corner a triangular fold of skin formed by the union of the
upper and lower lips. Teeth regularly placed upon each jaw, only one
row in use at a time, the rest reclined ; they are large, compressed, and some-
what quadrangular, the cutting edges nearly horizontal, and both of their
sides are generally bicuspidate, (as will be seen by referring to the figures a
and b, where the former represent the teeth of the upper jaw, and the latter
represent those of the lower). Branchial openings all in front of pectoral fins ;
the first not much more than half the length of the fifth. Pectoral fins
rather small, the hinder edges nearly square ; the dorsal fins are small, the
first narrower at its base than at its extremity, which is slightly rounded ;
the second nearly throughout of equal breadth, the hinder edge almost
square ; the ventral fins short, broader behind than at their bases, and their
posterior edges slightly undulated ; the caudal fin entire, somewhat trian-
gular and slightly falciform, the upper portion high above the line of the
back, the lower scarcely below the line of the body immediately in front of
it. Lateral line very distinct, commencing above branchial openings, and
extending nearly without curve or undulation to the commencement of the
caudal fin, from thence it ascends the latter, and extends along it, nearer to
its anterior than posterior edge, until it reaches its upper extremity ; at its
origin this line is nearer to the middle of the back than the base of the
pectoral fin ; to the touch it feels slightly rough, which arises from its being
beset with a number of minute prickles, which are most distinctly seen in
preserved specimens. The surface of the skin both on the body and fins
is more or less sprinkled with strong bony-looking spines, with large cir-
cular and flattened bases, which are striated from the centre towards the
circumference. These spines vary in size as well as form, some being hooked,
others quite straight ; in some places they are disposed in clusters, in others
they are solitary, and on the extremity of the muzzle are nearly wanting. The
appendages to the ventral fins in the male seldom extend much beyond their
Length from the tip of the nose
to the end of the caudal fin 6
to the eye
to the first dorsal fin 3
to the pectoral fins 1
to the anterior edge of the
upper jaw 6
to the base of the ventral fins 3 7i
Distance between the dorsal fins 4<\
Length from the hinder edge of the
second dorsal fin to the base
of the caudal fin 4
of the tail from the base to the
highest point 1 5^
This shark is comparatively rare at the Cape of Good Hope. It is described by the fisher-
men as sluggish and unwieldy in its movements, and but seldom to be observed towards the
surface of the water. When they obtain specimens, it is generally at a time when they are
fishing in deep water, and when the bait with which the hooks are armed is near to the bottom.
In this respect it resembles the Scyllia, or ground-sharks ; and, if we were to regard only its
internal organization, we should be disposed to consider it as closely allied to that genus.
I— 1 (U
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MUSTELUS MEGALOPTERUS.— Smith.
Pisces. — Plate II. (Male.)
M. supra viridi-brunneus, purpureo-tinctus, infra subochreus, regionibus ante pinnas pectorales et post
ventrales rubro-umbratis ; corporis lateribus brunneo-purpureis. Oculis cupreo-viridi-flavo-niten-
Longitudo 4 ped. 4 unc.
Colour. — Hind-head and back as far as the first dorsal fin, greenish brown
glossed with purple — the colour is unequal as to depth, on the hind-head
it is lightest, and is there slightly shaded with ochre yellow ; anterior and
lateral parts of the head greyish purple, faintly freckled or clouded with
vermillion red ; back, behind first dorsal fin, purplish grey, slightly clouded
with clove brown ; sides of body, light brownish purple ; under surface, from
tip of lower jaw to caudal fin, ochry yellow of various tints, the parts im-
mediately behind the ventral fins, and those in front of the pectorals,
highest coloured, and freely mottled with vermillion red. Pectoral and
ventral fins, purplish grey shaded with brownish red, the latter are besides
faintly clouded with vermillion red ; the remaining fins between greenish and
purplish grey — the first dorsal, nearly pure grey at its base, and the caudal
has an obscure ochry stripe in the direction in which it is traversed by the
vertebral column. Eyes a bright greenish yellow, with a strong metallic
Form, &c. — Anterior portion of body robust, and sub-triangular, with an
acute carina extending between the hindhead and the anterior edge of the first
dorsal fin ; posterior portion of body slender, somewhat cylindrical, and with
the rudiments of a carina between the first and second dorsal ; the surface harsh
and rough, arising from the skin being every where closely covered with small
triangular and carinated scales, — the carina is central, forms the apex of the
scale, and projects slightly over the base of the scale next in succession.
Head, above somewhat flattened, below and on the sides rather convex ;
hind-head broad, nose rather narrow and inclined to pointed ; teeth small,
three-sided, and with three distinct angles; the apical portion of each
slender, slightly prolonged, and acute at the point. Eyes, deeply set, pupil
linear and oblique, nictating membrane large ; post-ocular spiracles rather
large, oval, and situated directly behind the outer canthus ; the two last
branchial, opening, situated above and behind the anterior margin of pectoral
fin, appendages long and rather slender.
Feet. Inches. Lines.
Length from nose to apex of caudal
Circumference immediately before
first dorsal fin 1
Distance between nose and eye ...
Distance between nose and angle of
Distance between nose and nostrils
Distance between nose and middle
of upper jaw
Breadth between the angles of the
Distance between eye and post
Distance between eye and first
Distance between nose and anterior
edge of first dorsal fin
Distance between hinder-edge of
first dorsal and anterior edge
of second dorsal
Distance between base of second
dorsal behind, and base of
Distance between nose and an-
terior edge of pectoral fins
Distance between base of pectoral
fin behind, and anterior edge
Distance between base of ventrals
behind, and anterior edge of
Distance between posterior edge
of anal behind, and base of
Length of anal appendages
The chief external differences between the male and female consist in the
latter wanting the anal appendages, and having the fins, particularly the
pectoral ones, proportionably smaller.
In the course of several years during which the fishermen of Cape Town were engaged by
me in collecting cartilaginous fishes, only a very few specimens of this species were obtained.
Their want of success, however, probably arose more from the species resorting to situations
little visited by fishermen during their ordinary avocations, than from the scarcity of specimens.
It feeds upon mollusca, Crustacea, Sfc, and in quest of these it haunts principally the rocky, or
broken parts of the coast.
Specimens of this species are occasionally procured, in which the ground colour, similar to
that described, is freely spotted with dusky black blotches, very various as to size.
As I have not had an opportunity of ascertaining whether the males of the species of this
genius are provided with sacs, similar to those which occur in several of the other genera of the
Squalidce, and which sacs appear to be connected with the anal appendages, I would suggest
the inquiry, as deserving the attention of those naturalists who have an opportunity of ex-
amining specimens of the European species. The sacs to which I allude, two in number, lie
under the skin of the abdomen, immediately in front of the anus, are of a pyriform shape, and
each, by means of a narrow duct, opens into the longitudinal groove, which exists on the inner
side of each anal appendage. In none of the sacs which I examined was I able to detect
any fluid beyond what was barely sufficient to lubricate their inner surfaces, and from whence it
proceeded I could not discover; no glandular structure was noticed. Farther enquiries, I have
no doubt, will shew them to be essential to the proper performance of the functions belonging
to the appendages; and as tending to give probability to that supposition, I may merely
observe that by injecting water into one of these sacs, the corresponding appendage was dis-
tended to a great size, and its apex expanded, flattened, and rendered well adapted for fixing
upon, or seizing extraneous bodies.
I— 1 p
AGRIOPUS SPINIFER.— Smith.
Pisces. — Plate III.
A. dorso, lateribusque superne rubro-brunneis, maculis, nebulisve flavis marmoratis ; lateribus inferne,
abdomineque argenteo-griseis purpureo-tinctis ; pinna dorsale maculis tribus nigris notata ; pinnis
pectoralibus, ventralibus, analeque flavo-maculatis; aculeo uno ante oculum, et tribus versus angulum
Longitudo 12^ unc.
Colour. — The head, the back, and the sides, till some distance beneath
the lateral line, rich reddish brown, marbled with brownish yellow spots or
nebulcB, which are disposed in irregular longitudinal rows, and are smallest
and most numerous towards the dorsal fin. The lower portions of the sides
and the belly are dull silvery-grey, with a purple gloss ; the line of demarca-
tion between the reddish-brown and silvery-grey is very distinct and waved.
Dorsal fin close to the back light brownish yellow, the remainder dull brown ;
on the anterior portion of the fin the lower edge of the latter colour appears
somewhat scolloped, there being between every two rays an obtuse brown
point almost reaching to the back. This fin besides is marked with several
brownish black spots or stripes ; three are distinct spots, the first is between
the first and second ray, and occupies more than the superior half of the
intermediate membrane ; the second is between the sixth and seventh ray,
and the third between the seventh and eighth ; they are of a somewhat
circular form and situated near to the upper margin of the fin : the stripes
occupy the upper edge of the last third of the spinous portion and the whole
of the same part of the soft portion of the fin. The pectoral, ventral, anal,
and caudal fins are yellowish brown, and the rays of the three first are barred
with brownish yellow.
Form, &c. — Typical. Figure rather more delicate than that of Agriopus
torvus, nearly similar to that of Agriopus verrucosus, Bl. ; the form of the head
also approaches to that of the latter species, and differs from A. torvus in the
snout being directed rather more horizontally. Mouth small ; lips thick
and fleshy ; teeth long, slender, numerous, and closely set. The frontal
bone above and between the eyes and the temporal and infra-orbital bones,
together with the peroperculum and the other osseous portions of the
gill coverts, with the exception of the operculum, scabrous, — the roughness
arising from their surfaces being ornamented with fine radii consisting of
numerous minute granular points ; operculum smooth. At the base of
the snout in front of each eye, there is a short, strong, and pointed spine,
and behind and rather above the angle of the mouth, three horny tubercles,
the points of which are either simple, jagged, or serrated. The skin of
the body is soft and armed with numerous minute and pointed spines, all
of which are slightly directed backwards ; the lateral line is groved and
slightly curved, the convexity upwards. In the course of the line clusters
of spines occur at intervals of three or four lines, those of each cluster
arise from a common base, and some of them are directed forwards, and
others backwards. Anterior half of spinous portion of dorsal fin high and
much arched, posterior half low and nearly every where of equal height, the
hinder or soft portion of the fin slightly arched above, and the highest point
projecting considerably beyond the level of the posterior half of the spinous
portion. Pectoral and ventral fins narrow in proportion to their length, and
all the rays excepting the first of each, free at their extremities ; hinder
portion of anal fin much longer than anterior portion ; caudal fin slightly
forked. The number of rays in the fins are — dorsal 20 — 12 ; pectorals 9 ;
ventrals 6 ; anal 9 ; caudal 16.
Total length 12 6
Length of the dorsal fin 8 7
of the pectoral fin 2 10
of the ventral fins 2 9
of the anal fins 1 6
of the caudal fins 1 10
of the fifth or longest spine
of the dorsal fin 2 2
Height of the soft portion of the
dorsal fin 1 1|
Depth of the anal fin 1, 5
Depth of the body at the base of the
pectoral fins 3
Depth at the base of caudal fin 1
In young specimens the colours are the same as in adults ; in the former
the spines of the body are more numerous.
The above are the dimensions of the largest specimens we have seen : and as many much
smaller have been procured, we are disposed to believe that the individual here represented had
attained its full size. Specimens are occasionally caught in Table Bay, but by no means so
frequently as either A. torvus or A. verrucosus. It feeds upon shell fish, and its stomach is
generally found gorged with small limpets, &c.
CARCHARODON CAPENSIS.— Smith.
Pisces. — Plate IV. — Female.
C. supra obscure csesius, purpureo-tinctus ; subtus flavo-albus plus minusve miniatus ; pinnis pectoralibus
supra versus basin, corporisque lateribus post has nigris ; oculis viridi-nigris, punctis subaureis
Longitudo ex apice capite ad extremitatem pinnse caudalis 7 ped.
Colour. — The back, the upper parts of the sides, and the dorsal fins dull
blueish grey shaded with purple, and exhibiting a velvety lustre ; the lower
portions of the sides silvery blue. Under parts yellowish white, tinted with
vermillion-red, very strongly on the under surfaces of the head, neck, and
tail. The upper surface of the pectoral fins, and also the caudal and anal
ones, purplish grey, excepting a portion of each of the first named, toward
the base, which is livid black ; the part of each side adjoining these marks
is also black. The under surface of the pectoral fins reddish white. Eyes
resplendent greenish black, variegated with bright copper-coloured points.
Form, &c. — Figure robust and fusiform; the tail immediately in front of
caudal fin, very slender and strongly carinated on each side ; back slightly
keeled. Head broad posteriorly, pointed anteriorly, flat above, convex below,
and when viewed as a whole exhibits something of a triangular form ; a patch of
minute cuticular pores on each side of upper jaw, and two similar ones on
the top of "the head between the eyes and the nose. Gape large and arched,
one row of erect teeth in each jaw, the remainder recumbent; those of the
upper jaw more than double the breadth of the lower ones. Nostrils narrow,
transverse, and partially divided by a small cuticular lobule; post-ocular
spiracles very small, and on the same lines with the eyes, branchial openings
large, and in front of the pectoral fins ; the latter large and somewhat trian-
gular in shape, their hinder edge slightly concave with a small triangular
* Generic characters. — Figure fusiform ; head subconical ; nose pointed ; teeth triangular, the base
forming one of the sides, those of the upper jaw widest, lateral edges finely dentated ; post-ocular openings
small ; branchial openings all in front of pectoral fins ; back carinated ; first dorsal fin immediately in
front of the middle of the back ; each side of the tail strongly carinated ; a semilunar fossa in front of
caudal fin, both above and below ; caudal fin forked, the upper portion longest. Closely allied to Lamna.
process towards the point. First dorsa,l fin triangular, its apex recurved, and
the hinder edge at its base prolonged to a slender point ; second dorsal fin
small and quadrangular ; the upper lobe of the caudal fin considerably longer
than the lower, with a small triangular process near its point ; structure and
configuration of the abdominal viscera nearly as in the Carcharidce.
Length from the point of the nose to
the tip of the upper lohe of
caudal fin 7
from the tip of the nose to
the first dorsal fins 2 G£
Distance between the first and second
dorsal fin 1 7
between the second dorsal
and caudal fins 9
Length from the point of the nose
to the pectoral fins ... 1 9
Distance between the pectoral and
ventral fins 1 7
between the ventral and anal
between the anal and caudal
Nothing is known of the male.
We have only seen one specimen of this species of shark ; but others were taken in the Cape
Seas during our residence in South Africa. It swims close to the surface of the sea, and is said
to be very active, and to feed upon fishes which it captures by its speed. The one we examined
had the stomach distended with portions of Acanthias australis, Smith, Callorynchus australis,
Cuv., and a species of Loligo.
In the Museum of the Zoological Society of London.
Height of the first dorsal fin 8
Breadth at its base
Height of the second dorsal
Breadth at its base
Length of the pectoral fins 1
Breadth at their base
Distance from the tip of the nose
to the eye
to the nostrils
to the centre of the mouth
to the first branchial opening 1
Distance from the eye to the post-
Circumference in front of the first
dorsal fin 3
<! r ^
I I ID
TILAPIA SPARRMANII.— Smith.*
Pisces. — Plate V.
T. capite, corpore antice, abdomineque subroseis, purpureo-tinctis ; corpore postice pallide roseo-flavo,
fasciis transversis viridibus, variegato; pinnis dorsali, anali, caudalique pallide viridibus, maculis pur-
pureis fascias irregulares formantibus notatis, marginibus flavis.
Longitudo, 4 unc. 6 lin.
Colour, &c. — The head, the body in front of the pectoral fins, and the
belly, a delicate rosy red, variegated with slight tints of purple ; the general
colour of the other parts of the body intermediate between rose-red and cream-
yellow. On the sides, six or seven vertical bars of a pale green colour, and
between them some pale ultra marine spots, which vary in number in differ-
ent specimens. The hinder margins of the scales, particularly of those
towards the dorsal fin, edged with olive brown. The striae forming the lateral
line, are light greenish brown, and not readily seen in fresh specimens.
Dorsal, anal, and caudal fins, pale grass green, the first margined superiorly,
the second inferiorly, and the last posteriorly, with saffron-yellow, and all
barred more or less regularly with oblique or vertical bands, composed of small
subquadrangular spots of a doll purple colour, those of the tail being best
defined, and almost disposed in vertical rows. In addition to the purple spots,
the dorsal fin has also three blackish spots towards the hinder parts of its
* Generic characters of Tilapia. — Form oblong, subovate, laterally compressed. Head, rather sbort, and
tapering anteriorly ; mouth small, and opening directly in front ; lips pulpy and soft. Teeth short, slender,
and 'rather widest at their points, which are either bifid or imperfectly trifid ; those of the tipper jaw disposed
in three rows, all upon the intermaxillary bones ; those of the lower in two ; the teeth of the front row of
each jaw largest and most regular ; no palatine teeth. Nostrils small, single, and situated above and slightly
in front of the eyes. Eyes moderately large. Operculum posteriorly, slightly waved ; the covering of the
suborbitary bones and the preoperculum perforated by several small pores. Two rudimentary fossae on
each side immediately above the upper extremity of the gills, with which they communicate. Gill rays
five. Upper surface of the head anteriorly covered with smooth skin, rest of head and body coated with
large semicircular scales. Lateral line interrupted, the anterior portion which commences at upper ex-
tremity of operculum, is much nearer to the back than the posterior portion, which runs along the middle of
the body. Dorsal Jin single, the hinder or soft rays longest. Stomach a cul de sac ; no cosca ; intestines
of nearly equal calibre throughout, very long, slender and rolled upon themselves. Ovaria subcylindrical.
For the form of the stomach, intestines, &c, see Plate: — a, two teeth of the upper jaw; b, two of the
under jaw; c, viscera in situ ; </, stomach.
spinous portion which are disposed in an oblique direction, so as to form a
sort of slanting bar in front of the soft portion of the fin. Ventral fins, light
brownish red ; the pectoral ones, semitransparent and of an orange white
colour, the tints of the sides distinctly visible through them. Lips, pale
greenish yellow. Eyes, pale straw yellow, with one or more spots of dull
Form, &c. — Snbovate. The head, both superiorly and inferiorly, regularly
tapered towards the nose ; the line of the back slightly curved. Dorsal fin,
anteriorly low, with its superior edge nearly level, posteriorly much higher,
particularly from the commencement of the soft portion. The rays of the
latter, particularly the middle ones, are much longer than those of the spinous
portion, and their direction more oblique. The rays of the spinous portion
project slightly above the connecting membrane, giving to the upper edge of
the fin anteriorly a rather ragged or serrated appearance ; and some of them
are surmounted by delicate fleshy points, of a saffron colour. Posterior edge
of dorsal fin oblique, the upper extremity prolonged towards the caudal fin.
Anal fin, rather short, the spinous rays not so long as the soft ones ; its
hinder edge oblique, and nearly opposite to the corresponding portion of the
dorsal fin. Caudal fin fan-shaped. Pectoral fins long, the superior rays
longest, hence its posterior edge is oblique. Five small pores in a line- upon
the inferior and hinder edge of preoperculum. Scales large, hard, semicircular
behind, and disposed in about ten longitudinal rows, from 23 to 27 scales in
each. The number of rays in the fins are,
D.13— 9. A. 3—9. C. 18. P. 11. V. 1—5.
The general appearances and organisation of this little fish have inclined us to refer it to the
Labyrinthiformes of Cuvier, and as we have not been able to find any described form with
characters similar to those it possesses, we have found it necessary to regard it as the type of a
new division for which we propose the name of Tilapia. The fossa or caverns connected with
the gills are very indistinct, yet such traces of them exist, as appears to warrant our regarding
Tilapia as a fish of an aberrant form. It occurs in small fresh-water streams to the north
of the Orange River, and the specimens we obtained were all taken from pools in the beds of
temporary streamlets. Knowing that the water found in such situations usually disappears
during the dry season, we at once inferred that all the specimens we saw were doomed to death
on the arrival of that period. On questioning the natives of the district as to the frequency of
these fishes in such situations, and stating to them our belief that they must all die with the
disappearance of the waters, they strongly opposed our conclusion, and maintained that on the
drying up of the water the fishes buried themselves in the mud with which the bottoms of the
pools were coated, and there remained until fresh rains filled the holes and induced them to
leave their subterranean abodes ; in these respects, added our informants, they resemble water
LEPTORHYNCHUS* CAPENSIS.— Smith.
Pisces. — Plate VI. (Male.)
L. gracilis, subcylindricus ; capite, dorso lateribusque super lineam lateralera purpureo-brunneis
sub lineam griseo-argenteo-lucentibus ; pinnis flavo-albis ; caudse apice acuminate- ; dentibus anteriori-
bus sparsis, majoribus leviter devaricatis recurvatis ; narium tubulis rubro-flavis ; oculis cupreo-flavo-
Longitudo ab apice nasi ad caudse extremitatem 2 ped. 6 unc.
Colour. — The upper and lateral parts of the head and body are purplish
brown, the head tinted with yellow; the lower parts and the sides of the body,
below the lateral line, greyish white, with a pearly lustre. Pectoral, dorsal,
and anal fins pale yellowish white, clouded with a slight shade of an umber-
tint. Eyes yellowish green, slightly bronzed ; tubes of nostrils reddish-
Form, &c. — Body for the greater part of its length nearly of equal size,
tapered towards the tail ; the lateral line commences over the pectoral fin, and
extends, in a faintly indicated groove, to the tail, nearly equidistant from the
back and abdomen ; towards the tail the line becomes faint and indistinct ;
under it a line of minute pores, not distinct at all parts of its course ; a lon-
gitudinal line of three or four similar pores under each eye, and a vertical
one of about the same number behind it. Eyes round, pupil circular;
nasal tube distinctly projecting and circular ; upper jaw contracted towards the
apex, and before and behind the contraction there is a distinct lateral bulge.
The anterior teeth of both jaws thinly set, slightly divergent and re-
curved ; the two or three anterior teeth of the palatal row small and recurved,
the next three in succession longer and rather widely apart from each other,
* Leptorhynchi Ch. gen. — Figure slender, fusiform, eel-shaped; sides slightly flattened. Head small,
laterally compressed, above slightly convex ; jaws nearly equal, much elongated, forming a long, slender,
subcylindrical snout ; upper jaw depressed towards the point and laterally enlarged. Three rows of teeth
in the upper and two in the lower jaw, those at and near the point of each longest and slightly curved,
the remainder short, slender, nearly straight, pointed, and closely set together; eyes large and
rather nearer to the angle of the mouth than the tip of the snout ; nostrils single, tubular and situated
near to the lower edge of upper jaw, about half way between the eye and tip of snout; a few minute pores
under and behind the eye — those under in a longitudinal line, those behind in a vertical one. One branchial
opening on each side, vertical, semilunar and slightly in advance of the pectoral fins ; commence-
ment of dorsal fin some distance behind the pectoral fins, and like the anal, very slender and lying in a
furrow; both these fins vanishing gradually towards the tip of the tail, the latter pointed and without
fin. Lateral line distinct and formed by a series of raised, interrupted delicate strice, below which is
a line of minute pores.
the remainder short, nearly straight, and closely set. The lateral teeth
with which the point of the upper jaw is armed are unequal in size, some at
its very apex. In the lower jaw there are no teeth directly in front, the first
of each side being a little behind the apex, it is the longest of the series,
and distant from the next nearly one line ; the second is smaller, yet larger
than those which succeed, and which nearly resemble in form and arrange-
ment those of the upper jaw.
The gills are fixed on cartilaginous rami, in which respect as well as in
many others this fish differs from Anguilla, Murcena, Sfc. The oesophagus is
strong, internally marked with many longitudinal rugoe ; the coats of the
stomach are thin, and the inner one when not distended, has also irregular rudi-
mentary folds. The length of the stomach is not in the same proportion as in
murcena, its lower termination being far in advance of the anus. The intesti-
nal canal proceeds from near the cardiac orifice, and forms no convolutions ;
it is nearly of equal calibre throughout, and closely intersected towards the
rectum by rudimentary transverse septce ; the rectum is open and unobstructed.
The liver is short in proportion when compared with that of Murcena, but
not very different from that of Anguilla ; it is of an irregular oblong form
and placed upon the upper extremity of the stomach immediately over the
pyloric orifice. The gall bladder is small and situated on the side of the
liver near its inferior extremity, and the gall duct enters the intestinal canal
a little below the pylorus. The spleen is long, slender, and slightly three-
Inches. Lines. Inches. Lines.
Length from the tip of the snout to the Distance from the eye to the angle of
point of tail 29 9 the mouth 3^
of the gape from the angle of from the tip of the nose to
the mouth 11 the anus 10 6
of the dorsal fin 26 9 from the tip of the snout to
of the anal fin 19 3 the branchial opening ... 2
Distance from the tip of the snout to
the eye -, 4^
The colours of the female are the same as those of the male.
From not having been able to class this fish in any of the groups already constituted, we have
been forced to regard it as the type of a new form.
It is occasionally taken in nets in Table Bay, and I have only seen one individual exceeding
the size of the specimen here described ; it was about 9 feet in length, and, I have no doubt, of
a different species.
The configuration of the snout of L. Capensis, and the arrangement of its teeth, par-
ticularly the former, present a striking resemblance to the corresponding parts of the common
Gavial (Crocodilus Gangeticus).
ELOPS CAPENSIS.— Smith.
Pisces. — Plate VII.
E. capite superne dorsoque subolivaceis ; corporis lateribus superne viridibus purpureo-tinctis ; lateribus
subtus partibusque inferioribus argenteo-albis ; dorsali analique pinnis ad basin vaginatis; pinnis pecto-
ralibus ventralibusque ad basin squamis membraneis marginatis, earumque posterioribus elongatis,
Longitudo exempli descripti 26 unc.
Colour. — The centre of the back, and the upper surface of the head oil-
green, with a brown tint; the remainder of the back and the sides superiorly
verdigris-green, tinted with lilac-purple ; the sides below the lateral line
silvery- white, faintly clouded with pink, blue, and yellow variegations. The
gill covers and sides of head a pale rose colour, variegated with pale purple,
and light saffron-yellow tints. Fins light greenish white, with yellow and
pink tints, the rays of the caudal and dorsal fins darkest. Eyes pale silvery
white, clouded with greenish and yellowish variegations. The whole of the
fish, with the exception of the fins, displays a strong mother-of-pearl lustre.
Form, &c. — Figure rather slender, and somewhat fusiform ; sides slightly
compressed ; girth between hinder edge of gill covers and dorsal fin nearly
the same; beyond these it gradually diminishes as the distance increases; the
transverse diameter of the body, immediately before the dorsal fin, about two-
thirds of the vertical diameter. Head without scales, and measuring from
the tip of the lower jaw to the hinder edge of the gill covers, not quite one-
fifth of the total length of the fish ;* its profile cuneiform, the upper surface
slightly declivous, and marked between the crown and nostrils, with a broad
nearly lineal depression, the under surface strongly sloped upwards. Nostrils
double, and situated nearly half way between the eyes and apex of upper
jaw, both oval, the hinder one the largest. Eyes large and rounded. Max-
illary bones subovate, and each forming nearly two-thirds of the length of
the jaw ; rami of under jaw strong, and received within the upper, excepting
at the nose, where the lower jaw is rather the more advanced of the two.
Teeth extremely delicate, short, and closely set ; a narrow band (figs. A & B
a a) on the margin of the jaws, two clusters (fig. A b & c) on each side of the
palate, and one (fig. B C) which forms almost the entire of the upper surface
of the tongue ; the apex of the tongue in front of teeth thin and membranous.
Gill covers large, and branchial openings capacious ; operculum more than
twice the size of suboperculum ; preoperculum somew r hat triangular ; branchial
membrane with thirty rays, more than half of them within the rami of the lower
* In a smaller specimen which I possess, the length of the head is considerably more than one-fifth of
the whole length ; in neither, however, are the measurements to be depended upon, as both specimens
have been skinned and stuffed.
jaw. Body covered with moderately large scales, anteriorly and posteriorly
slightly rounded, the sides truncate ; the basal half of each scale distinctly
marked with a series of delicate and raised radii, which diverge from its cen-
tre (vide plate) ; immediately before the dorsal fin the rows of scales are
twenty-seven. The humeral plates three in number, very conspicuous, the
upper one long, narrow, and reaching from the centre of the back to a little
below the division between the operculum and suboperculum, the other two be-
tween that and the pectoral fins both on the same level, and the one overlapped
by the other, as is distinctly represented in the figure. The lateral line com-
mences behind the upper extremity of the operculum, slopes slightly down-
wards till it arrives nearly opposite the middle of the dorsal fin, from thence it
proceeds in a straight line till its termination, which is a little behind the centre
of the caudal fin ; the line, though interrupted, is very distinct, and consists of
a series of short grooves, one near the hinder extremity of each of the scales of
the row along which it extends, which row is generally the fourteenth or fif-
teenth reckoning, the centre row of the back as the first. Fins moderately
large, the dorsal and anal ones emarginate posteriorly, and each surrounded
at its base with a low membranous sheath, coated with large scales ; the base
of the pectoral fins superiorly guarded by a long tapering membranous plate,
and inferiorly by a series of broad but comparatively short ones ; the base of
the ventral fins inferiorly and superiorly furnished with plates like the pec-
toral fins, the last plate of the series on the dorsal aspect of the fin narrow
and considerably elongated. Caudal fin deeply forked, with distinct, spinous,
rudimentary rays superiorly and inferiorly towards its base, which are flat-
tened and closely applied to each other ; the large bony scale at the base of
the tail, superiorly and inferiorly, oval and slightly convex.
Distance from the tip of the lower jaw
to the eye . . . , 1 3
to the angle of the mouth 2 6
to the hinder edge of the oper-
to the base of the first ray of
the pectoral fin 5 2
to the dorsal fin 11 2
to the ventral fins 11 1
Distance from the hinder edge of the
dorsal fin to the base of the
tail , 6 9
from the ventral fins to the
anal fin 6 1
Distance between the anal fin and the
base of the caudal 2 6
Length of the caudal fin 4 5
Total length of the fish 26
Vertical diameter immediately before
the dorsal fin 3 7
In young specimens the green colour above the lateral line is scarcely
In considering this a new species, I have only admitted two species of the genus to have
been described, viz. Mops saurus, Bloch, Plate 393 ; and Jinagow, Russell, Plate 179.
BAGRUS CAPENSIS.— Smith.
Pisces. — Plate VIII.
B. capite supra, dorso, corporisque lateribus antice viridi-brunneis, his lineis cseruleis, flavis, et albis
variegatis ; corporis lateribus postice et subter lineam lateralem antice flavis, viridi brunneoque
umbratis : capite subtus, partibusque inferioribus coloris carnei, purpureo-griseo-umbratis ; oculis
Longitudo exempli descripti 20 unc.
Colour. — The upper surface of the head, and the back and sides an-
teriorly, above the lateral line, a rich dark greenish brown, the sides veined
irregularly with bright blue, yellow and silvery-white lines. The sides
posteriorly above the lateral line, and anteriorly below it, saffron -yellow
clouded with grass-green and dull brown ; the middle portion of the sides
below the lateral line, and the sides of the head below the eyes, intermediate
between straw and ochre-yellow, the tint variegated with shade of a purple
and grey hue. The belly, under-surface of head, and sides of tail below the
lateral line, together with the base of the anal and dorsal fins, and the
greater part of the caudal fin, a livid flesh-colour, clouded with purplish grey;
the ventral and anal fins dull ultra-marine blue at the points. The dorsal
and pectoral fins dirty brownish-green, clouded with blue, the last colour
brightest on the pectorals ; the first or anteriormost spine of pectorals flesh-
coloured. The sides of the head, behind the eyes, and the gill-covers, con-
fusedly clouded with dark greenish brown, purplish blue, lilac-purple and
greenish white tints. The barbels livid reddish brown, lightest at the points.
Eyes golden yellow ; pupils black. The whole of the colours of the head and
body heightened by the presence of a strong bronze-lustre.
Form, &c. — Figure rather clumsy. The body in front of the ventral fins
somewhat triangular ; the belly large and protuberant ; behind the pectoral
fins, subcylindrical and tapered, a decrease of thickness very distinct behind
the second dorsal fin. Head as broad as the body, and depressed, its upper
surface nearly flat, inclined towards the mouth, and marked along its centre
by a broad longitudinal furrow, which is widest about the middle, and by two
somewhat triangular hollows, one on each side behind the nostrils, — these
depressions are very distinctly seen in prepared specimens. The bones of
the upper surface of the head slightly scabrous from the great number of
elevated delicate striae with which they are ornamented, and which, like the
depressions, are most distinctly seen in dried specimens. Gape nearly the
breadth of the anterior part of the head ; upper lip slightly fleshy, with a
long barbel at each extremity, immediately in advance of the angle of the
mouth; teeth short, slender, hair-like, closely set, and so numerous as to consti-
tute a belt of considerable width on the inner edge of each jaw, those of the
lower jaw rather thickest. Nostrils rather large, subovate, two on each side, and
situated between the eyes, and the edge of the upper jaw, nearest to the latter ;
. chin with four barbels, shorter and more slender than those at the extremities of
the upper lip ; the latter when extended reach to the base of the pectoral fins.
Operculum smooth, somewhat triangular, the superior and anterior portion
constituting the apex ; suboperciilum triangular, its superior side deeply
emarginate ; humeral bone immediately above the base of pectoral fin, large
triangular, and finely marked with elevated longitudinal stria. The skin
of the head and the body smooth. The lateral line anteriorly rather above
the level of the upper extremity of the branchial opening, and not distinctly
visible till nearly under the first ray of the anterior dorsal fin ; it consists of
a series of slightly elevated and interrupted tubes, each of which opens pos-
teriorly ; from its origin its course is slightly sloping until it reaches a point
over the commencement of the anal fin, after that it is horizontal to its termi-
nation, which is a little in advance of the central portion of the caudal fin.
Dorsal fin high anteriorly, comparatively low behind, the first ray spinous,
very strong, and armed anteriorly with a narrow ridge of serratures pointing
downwards ; pectoral fins of moderate size, the first ray of each like that of
the dorsal, the serratures which arm its anterior edge point towards its
base : the second dorsal fin small, adipose, superiorly slightly curved, and
posteriorly nearly vertical : anal fin very large, the anterior rays much larger
than the hinder ones : caudal fin deeply forked, the upper portion consider-
ably more produced than the lower. The hinder edges of the anal and
second dorsal are nearly opposite each other.
Length from the point of the upper jaw
to the first dorsal fin. . 3 4
to the pectoral fin 3 10
to the second dorsal fin 12 6
Distance between the pectoral and ven-
tral fins 4 5
between the ventral and anal fins 2 7 h
between the second dorsal fin
and the caudal fin 1 9
Distance between the anal and caudal fins 1 1 1
Length of the upper lobe of the caudal fin 4 7i
of the lower lobe of ditto 4
Width of the mouth at the angles 2 6
Length of the first spine of the first dor-
sal fin ... ... 2 6
of the pectoral fin 2 9
Total length of the fish described 20
The difficulty of describing the fishes of this genus in such terms as to enable naturalists
to recognise the known species which may come into their possession is so great, that it is
quite possible the one we have now considered as new, may have already been indicated ; if it
proves so, the name now given it will only require to be rejected.
LOPHIUS UPSICEPHALUS.— Smith.
Pisces. — Plate IX.
L. 'supra pallide flavo-brunneus ; subtus purpureo-griseus flavo-brunneo-tinctus ; oculis lucide viridi-albis-
Longhtudo ad apicem pinnse caudalis, 28 \ una
Colour. — The upper and lateral parts of the head, together with the back
and sides of the body and the fins yellowish brown ; the sides of the head
posteriorly and the sides of the body lightest ; the under surface of the
head, body, and pectoral fins pearl-grey, tinted with yellowish brown. The
filaments disposed upon the sides of the body and edges of the lower jaws,
dark yellowish brown ; the spinous tentacula on the head and anterior part
of the back, light yellowish brown. Eyes greenish white, with a metallic
lustre. Teeth amber-coloured.
Form, &c. — Head very bulky as compared with the body, and posteriorly
nearly as high as broad ; the outline, when viewed from above, is somewhat
oval, and broadest behind. The upper surface of the head is much narrower than
the under surface ; nearly flat and slopes gradually from the vertex to the muz-
zle ; the sides are subvertical, or slightly convex, and diverge as they descend,
The lateral boundaries of the upper surface of the head is distinctly defined
by the angle which is formed by the junction of the upper surface and the
sides, and posteriorly each of these lines of demarcation are armed with three
short obtuse spines ; the foremost one is situated nearly over the eye, the
second about two inches behind it, and the third at the hinder part of
the vertex, considerably nearer to the centre of the head than the middle
one, and not very distant from its fellow of the opposite side. The relative
positions of these spines are well represented in the Plate. In addition to
these there are two other spines of rather a stronger description ; but, like
them, short and obtuse, one immediately behind the anterior and superior
extremity of each maxillary bone, and rather below the line which marks the
upper surface of the head (vide Plate). The gape is moderately large, but
not very broad ; the opening of the month is directed obliquely upwards
and forwards ; and the lower jaw projects considerably beyond the upper.
The symphisis of the lower jaw is narrow, the rami are arched and gradually
curved upwards, and the jaw, when viewed as a whole, has a triangular form,
the symphisis constituting the apex. The intermaxillary bones form the an-
terior edges of the upper jaw, and support the majority of the teeth with which
it is armed ; they are separated from each other superiorly by a broad and
deep furrow, widest in front. The teeth of both jaws are numerous, and those
of the lower jaw, generally, larger than those of the upper. Towards the an-
terior extremity of each intermaxillary bone they are arranged in two or three
rows ; those of the hinder row, which are much the largest, are cylindrical,
slightly curved, and directed backwards ; the others, which are of the same
form, and have the same kind of curve, are much weaker and shorter ; the
anterior margin of the lower two-thirds of each bone is armed with a series of
short, delicate, cylindrical teeth, each slightly incurvated, and placed at regular
distances the one from the other. Besides the teeth on the intermaxillaries,
there are a few others situated on the outer edges of the palatal bones, and
also two or three in a cluster at each angle of the vomer anteriorly. The
palatal teeth are disposed in a row, and the two or three, near the anterior
extremity of each row are longest. The teeth of the lower jaw are moderately
slender, cylindrical, closely set, nearly straight, and very unequal in regard
to length, some measuring an inch, others not more than a quarter of an
inch. The eyes are large, directed outwards, and situated about half an inch
below the outline of the upper surface of the head, nearly directly over the
angle of the mouth ; the pupils are almost circular. The branchial openings
are rather narrow, and situated in the axillce of the pectoral fins ; the latter are
rather broader at the extremity than the base, and the former is somewhat
truncated. The body is subcylindrical. The dorsal and anal fins are small ;
the hinder edge of each is square, and the former is situated rather in
advance of the latter. The caudal fin is somewhat fawn-shaped, and its pos-
terior edge is truncated •, all the fins are soft and fleshy. The sides of the body,
close to the belly, and the edges of the lower jaw, are fringed with flat and
short dentated filaments, varying from a quarter of an inch to an inch in
length ; they are irregularly scattered on the side but disposed in a single row
on the jaw. On the anterior and upper surface of the head, in the course of
the mesial line, there are two long, slender, spinous tentacula ; the hinder
one, which is a little in front of the eyes, the longest ; two others, of a like
description on the beginning of the back, immediately over the pectoral
fins, the anterior one the longest. Length of the head 1 1 inches, of the
body, exclusive of the caudal fin 13 inches ; greatest width of head about
3 inches behind the eyes 8j inches ; height at hind head 6 inches. Length
of the pectoral fins 3| inches ; of the dorsal 4 inches ; of the anal 3 inches ;
of the caudal 4 J inches. Rays of the pectoral fins 16 ; of the dorsal 7 or 8 ;
of the anal 7 ; of the caudal 12s.
Inhabits the seas of the Cape of Good Hope.
BARBUS (CHEILOBARBUS*) CAPENSIS.— Smith.
Pisces. — Plate X. Fig. I.
B. capite superne dorsoque antice olivaceo-brunneis ; dorso postice lateribusque supra lineam lateralem
flavo viridibus ; capitis lateribus corporisque partibus infra, lineam pallide flavis ; squamis postice
olivaceo-brunneis marginatis ; labiis, cirrisque carrieis ; oculis flavis; squamis magnis; cirris quatuor
duobus e labio superiore et uno ab angulo oris utroque dependentibus ; linea. laterali subdeflexa.
Longitudo ad extremitatem pinnse caudalis, 16 unc. 6 lin.
Colour. — The upper parts of the head and the anterior part of the back a
tint intermediate between oil-green and deep orange-coloured brown (olive-
brown) ; the hinder portion of the back intermediate between oil-green and
grass-green, the latter colour predominating towards the back. The sides of
the head and of the body below the lateral line light gamboge-yellow tinted
with oil-green ; all the scales both above and below the line edged with a tint
of the colour of the back, darkest on those above the line. Lips and cirri a
dull flesh-colour. Fins pale sienna-yellow shaded with dull yellowish brown,
the rays lightest. Eyes kings-yellow shaded with reddish-brown.
Form, &c. — Head elongated, above rather flattened, snout prominent and
somewhat pulpy ; mouth opening directly forwards ; gape of moderate extent ;
lips full and rather hard ; cirri nearly an inch in length, two on snout,
one directly in front of each eye, the other two behind the angles of the
mouth. Operculum subquadrangular, the inferio-anterior angle prolonged,
the superio-anterior oblique, the hinder side the longest ; the suboper-
culum the segment of a circle ; the interoperculum triangular, its apex
rounded. Dorsal outline, between hind-head and posterior edge of dorsal
fin slightly arched, behind dorsal fin nearly straight ; abdominal outline from
branchial rays to hinder edge of anal fin slightly arched, behind the latter
nearly straight. Lateral line anteriorly slightly deflexed, from over base of
* Ch. Subgen. Cheilobarbi. — Mouth opening forwards ; lips full, and firm ; intermaxillary bones slightly
extensible; nostrils double; four cirri, two from snout, and one from each angle of mouth; lateral line
consisting of a series of small tubes ; scales large ; dorsal fin short, and commencing slightly in front of
base of ventral fins ; commencement of anal fin about midway between ventral and caudal fins.
BARBUS (CHEILOBARBUS) CAPENSIS.
ventral fins to caudal fin nearly straight. Scales large and irregularly five-
sided, the posterior side or apex of each scale semicircular and submem-
branous; the point of junction between the basal sides prominent and
rounded, the two lateral, or the superior and inferior sides of each scale,
nearly straight ; each scale towards hinder edge marked with fine closely set
longitudinal striae. The dorsal fin is somewhat quadrangular, its anterio-
superior angle elongated. Pectoral fins ovate ; hinder edge of ventral fins
oblique ; anal fin subquadrangular, the inferio-anterior angle elongated and
blunt. Caudal fin deeply forked. Size of four grown specimens vary from
fourteen to eighteen inches.
Fin rays D. 10. P. 16. V. 8. A. 7. C. 19.
The only specimens which I have seen of this fish were taken in the rivers of the western
coast of South Africa, more particularly the Breede and Oliphants rivers. It is principally
found in deep pools, where the current is weak, and where the bottom is soft and muddy. It
is frequently taken in nets, and also occasionally by hooks. It is a rich fish, and abounds with
oil ; hence it is not much relished by persons with delicate stomachs.
BARBUS (CHEILOBARBUS) MAREQUENSIS.— Smith.
Pisces. — Plate X. Fig. 2.
B. capite supra castaneo, aurantio-tincto ; dorso lateribusque brunneo-flavis, priore olivaceo-brunneo-
obscurato ; lateribus infra lineam lateralem, abdomineque flavis griseo-flavo-umbratis ; cirris carneis ;
Longitudo ab nasi apice ad extremitatem pinnee caudalis, 1 5 unc.
Colour. — The upper parts of the head chesnut-brown, brightened with a
shade of reddish orange ; back and sides above the lateral line honey-yellow,
obscured and deepened on the back with olive-brown ; below the lateral line
gamboge-yellow, obscured with a faint tinge of saffron-yellow. The sides of
the head primrose-yellow, freely shaded with light lemon-yellow and pale
aurora-red. Lips and cirri light flesh-red. Pectoral and caudal fins light
strawy-ellow, shaded with dull wood-brown, the other fins intermediate
between flesh-red and sienna-yellow, and shaded with light olive-brown, the
rays in all the fins lightest. Eyes lemon-yellow, shaded with reddish
Form, &c. — Figure subovate and elongated ; the dorsal outline rather more
curved than the abdominal, the curvature strongest between nose and hinder
edge of base of dorsal fin, behind that the line is straight and slightly oblique,
the abdominal curve terminates at hinder edge of anal fin. Head short and
somewhat wedge-shaped, the transverse edge of the snout forming the thin
edge of the wedge ; nostrils close to anterior and upper edge of orbit, the open-
ings placed obliquely, the one in front of the other, the hindermost largest .
intermaxillary lips full and pulpy ; cirri about five lines in length ; operculum
large; suboperculum suboval; interoperculum semilunar; humeral plate large,
rounded posteriorly, and prolonged backwards beyond base of pectoral fin.
Lateral line towards the head slightly deflexed, nearly straight from opposite
commencement of anal fin, it consists of a series of interrupted tubes, one on
each scale. Scales very large, irregularly five-sided, the hinder side semi-
BARBUS (CHEILOBARBUS) MAREQTJENSIS.
lunar, and constituting the apex of scale, in front of the membraneous edging
of this side, the outer surface for a short space forewards is rough from the
presence of a number of fine closely-set striae. Dorsal fin four-sided, the base
being reckoned one side, the superio-anterior angle prolonged and rounded ;
the anal fin large, prolonged, and situated considerably nearer to the caudal
than to the pectoral fins ; caudal fin deeply forked.
Inhabits the rivers of the interior of Southern Africa, and is found in deep pools, particu-
larly where the water is in a measure stagnant, and the basin or bed in which it is contained
soft and muddy. In such places the fish is taken with a hook baited with flesh. It is consi-
dered by persons fond of oily fish as good food.
N°l, BARBUS BURCHELLL_N°2,BARBUS PALLIBIJS.
(Pisces Plate 11.)
BARBUS (PSEUDOBARBUS*) BURCHELLI.—Smith.
Pisces.— Plate XL No. 1.
B. supra olivaceo-brunneus ; lateribus subcupreis ; partibus inferioribus argenteo -albis ; pinnis pectoralibus,
ventralibus, analique ad basin coccineis; cirris quatuor; linea laterali deflexa.
Longitudo ab apice nasi ad extremitatem pinnae caudalis, 4 unc.
Rooye tlerk Carper of the Cape colonists.
Colour, &c. — Back olive brown, with a metallic lustre ; sides between
coppery and golden yellow, finely freckled with minute liver-brown dots ;
belly and under parts silvery white. The fins pale yellow, the base of the
pectorals, ventrals, and anal scarlet red. Eyes whitish yellow.
Form, &c. — Figure subovate, prolonged ; dorsal outline slightly arched,
abdominal outline anteriorly more curved than the dorsal, posteriorly, like
dorsal, nearly straight. Head not quite one- fourth of the length of the fish,
its depth four-fifths of its length, the upper surface slightly arched ; gape
moderate ; lips very thin ; cirri four, two from the snout, and one from
each angle of the mouth, nostrils situated close to the upper and anterior
edge of orbits, the posterior opening the largest; sub-operculum rather
broad, interoperculum triangular, the apex, which points backwards and
downwards semicircular ; humeral plate triangular. The lateral line is
slightly deflexed, and consists of a series of slender horizontal tubes,
one to each scale. Scales rather small, those towards abdomen largest,
the posterior edge of each semicircular, and its external surface towards
hinder margin rough from being marked with a number of fine, close-set, and
radiating striae. The dorsal fin is situated nearly midway between the snout
and base of caudal fin, its base anteriorly directly over base of pectoral fins.
The first and second rays of the dorsal and anal fins slender and hard, the
* Ch. subgen. Pseudobarbi.— -Mouth opening forwards; lips thin and cartilagenous; intermaxillary
bones extensible ; nostrils double; four cirri, two from upper lip and one from each angle of mouth ; lateral
line consists of a series of slender tubes ; dorsal fin short and commencing nearly directly over base of
ventral fins ; intestinal canal long and contorted.
BARBUS (PSEUDOBARBUS) BURCHELLI.
rest soft and divided, the first ray of each very short and closely applied to
the second. The anal fin about half way between pectoral and caudal fins ;
the caudal fin bifid.
B. rays, D 8. P. 12. V. 6. A. 7. C. 19.
Inhabits various rivers of the Cape colony, and is generally found in pools whose current is
weak. Many individuals are generally associated together, and they take a baited hook after
the same manner as the minnow (Leuciscus phoxinus) of Europe.
BARBUS (PSEUDOBARBUS) PALLIDUS.— Smith.
Pisces.— Plate XI. No. 2.
B. supra viridi-brunneus aureo-tinctus ; lateribus partibusque inferioribus flavis ultimis dilutioribus
cirris quatuor brevibus ; linea laterali versus operculum obliqua, postice recta.
Longitudo ab apice nasi ad extremitatem pinnse caudalis, 2 uric. 9 lin.
Colour. — The back greenish brown with a golden gloss ; the sides and
belly gilded yellow, the former darkest. In some specimens there is simply
a golden yellow line along the sides, and the parts below are greenish white.
Fins pale greenish yellow. Eyes white with a yellow tint.
Form, &c. — Figure subfusiform or ovate and prolonged ; the dorsal out-
line slightly arched, anteriorly near caudal fin straight ; abdominal outline
anteriorly more strongly arched, from base of anal fin posteriorly nearly
straight. Head short, nearly as deep as long, strongly arched above ; mouth
directly in front; gape small, cirri four, two to upper lip, and one to each corner
of mouth ; lips thin ; nostrils close to upper and anterior edge of orbit ; sub-
operculum rather broad, interoperculum triangular, its apex rounded, humeral
plate triangular. Lateral line commences near upper extremity of oper-
culum, its course at first slightly oblique, then in a straight line to middle of
base of caudal fin, where it terminates. Scales large for the size of the fish,
hinder edge semicircular, the outer surface towards hinder edge rough from
several delicate raised striae, more or less radiate. Dorsal fin small, its com-
mencement rather nearer to the top of the head than to the base of caudal fin,
and slightly in front of the base of ventral fins, the first ray slender and hard,
the rest soft ; anal fin about midway between ventral and caudal fins, the latter
Fin rays, D. 7. P. 14. V. 6. A. 7- C. 17.
This little fish inhabits clear streams in various parts of the Cape colony, and in its habits
closely resembles the minnow (Leuciscus phoxinus) of Europe. Numerous individuals are seen
together, and specimens are easily obtained by means of a baited hook.
Until the Cyprinidw shall have been subjected to a most searching examination by a person
possessed of a minute knowledge of a great number of species, the family will exist as one whose
BARBUS (PSEUDOBARBUS) PALLIDUS.
groupes must be acknowledged to be but very imperfectly known, and badly established. Of the various
families into which fishes have been distributed, there does not appear to me a second family in which the
characters assumed as those of groupes are more vague, or even so vague and imperfect as those which have
been selected to characterize the lower divisions of the Cyprinidce ; and I cannot, without hesitation,
say that I believe I have not myself, even in this Number of my Illustrations, contributed to increase the
obscurity and confusion. Be that, however, as it may, I feel convinced that it is not to the individual
who possesses only a very limited number of species that the Ichthyologist is to look for improvement and
reform : his expectations must be turned towards men who have the opportunity of examining and
comparing large collections of species ; and it is from them that he must expect light as to the proper
"With respect to the three subordinate forms which I have ventured to characterize, and of which figures
are given in Plates X. XI. and XII., I feel fully satisfied only of the. legitimate claims of one Abrosto-
mus j the other two may eventually be referred to some other of the groupes already instituted, though I
confess my own inability to discover in the combined characters of any of such groupes the essentials which
would justify me in selecting for the South African species positions different from that in which I have placed
them. When some hundreds of species shall have been got together, the difficulties which are now expe-
rienced will doubtless be readily surmounted, and it will then be seen whether Cheilobarbus and Pseudo-
barbus are to be retained as component forms of the genus Barbus, or are to be translated to some other
genera. At present I regard both of them as forming minor divisions of the genus Barbus, and in my
opinion are to be regarded as two of its subgenera.
ABROSTOMUS UMBRATUS.*— Smith.
Pisces.— Plate XII.— No. 1.
A. supra viridi-purpureus ; lateribus pallide cinereo-purpureis, maculis flavis variegatis; partibus
inferioribus lactifloribus ; pinnis dorsali caudalique flavo-maculatis ; labiis carnosis; ore infra spec-
tante sub apice nasi posito ; cirris quatuor.
Longitudo ad apicem pinnse caudalis, 8 unc. 4 lin.
Colour. — The upper surface of the head, the centre of the back and the
upper parts of the sides, towards the head, a tint intermediate between
reddish orange and brownish red (a sort of greenish purple) the remaining
portion of the sides above the lateral line a pale brownish purple-red,
heightened with a tint of reddish orange. Below the lateral line the ground
colour is a pale, dull pearl-grey, clouded here and there, particularly towards
the head, with pale crimson-red. In addition to the colours described the
back and sides are mottled with blotches or spots of gallstone-yellow ; above
the lateral line these mottlings are very numerous and generally in the form
of irregular, oblong, vertical blotches, below the line they are smaller, rather
scanty, and somewhat circular. The sides are also variegated with several
small clusters of minute dots of a chocolate-red colour. The belly and under
parts are a dull cream-yellow. The sides of the head in front of the gill-
covers variegated with pearl grey, yellow of various tints, and pale brownish
red ; gill-covers lilac-purple clouded with dull azure-blue and gallstone
yellow. Lips and cirri pale flesh-red tinted with lilac-purple. Dorsal and
caudal fins flesh-red, strongly tinted towards the base with brownish purple-
red, and spotted with gallstone-yellow, the rays lightest, — the dorsal fin
besides is crossed about midway between its base and apex by an obscure
azure-blue bar. The pectoral, ventral, and anal fins pearl-grey, shaded with
* Char. Subgen. Abrostomi. — Figure oblong- ovate; head broad posteriorly; snout pulpy, somewhat
depressed, and its anterior outline semicircular ; mouth situated under the snout, small, transverse and
directed downwards ; lips full and pulpy, the lower one with a membranous fold internally like a second
lip ; four cirri, two dependent from upper lip, one of them at each side of snout, and one from each angle of
mouth ; nostrils double. Branchial rays three ; lateral line deflexed, slightly interrupted and consisting
of a series of short tubes ; dorsal fin about midway between snout and caudal fin ; scales small or of
moderate size ; intestinal canal very long, slender, and rolled on itself.
brownish purple-red, and tinted with bright lemon-yellow. Eyes deep gall-
stone-yellow shaded with brownish orange, a narrow ring around the pupil
Form, &c. — Figure subovate and prolonged ; the dorsal and abdominal
outlines slightly arched, the outlines near to caudal fin almost straight. Head
slightly arched superiorly and rather depressed ; snout prominent, pulpy,
and consists of the covering of the maxillary bones ; mouth transverse ; gape
moderate ; lips tumid and pulpy, as represented in Plate XII. fig. a ; nostrils
about a line and a half in front of superior and anterior edge of orbits, the
hindermost opening the largest ; cirri four, about 4 lines in length, two of
them pendant from the front of the snout, and two from the angles of the
mouth. Eyes moderate ; suboperculum narrow ; interoperculum small, and
semilunar behind. Lateral line nearly straight, and extends from the middle
of the scapular plate to the base of the caudal fin ; scales of several sizes, and
varied as to shape ; on some parts the exposed portion of the scales is six-
sided, in some four-sided, and in others subovate ; they are generally very
small, considering the size of the fish, those on the under parts are much the
smallest; the scales, along which the lateral line extends, are irregularly five-
sided, (vide Plate XII. fig. b,) and towards their tips finely and closely striated.
Dorsal fin rather large, its base anteriorly nearer to the snout than to the base of
caudal fin ; the base of the pectoral fins directly under the middle of dorsal
fin ; the anterior edge of base of anal fin about midway between pectoral and
caudal fins ; the first and second rays of dorsal and anal, and the first ray of
the ventral fins, hard, the rest soft and divided. Caudal fin deeply forked.
Fin rays, D. 10. P. 12. V. 10. A. 6. C. 21.
This fish is found in slow running streams to the North of Orange River, and generally in
pools with a considerable depth of water and whose bottom is thickly coated with mud. It
never takes a bait ; therefore specimens are only secured by dragging with nets in such rivers.
It is not regarded by the natives as eatable.
ABROSTOMUS CAPENSIS— Smith.
Pisces.— Plate XII.— No. 2.
A. capite supra dorsoque purpureo-brunneis ; lateribus eisdem sed pallidioribus griseo-nebulatis; lateribus,
infra lineam lateralem, pallide flavis punctis brunneis variegatis; capitis lateribus, labiis, cirrisque
flavis purpureo-tinctis ; pinnis subflavis plus minusve griseo-umbratis ; oculis flavis brunneo-aurantio-
Longitudo ab nasi apice ad extremitatem pumas caudalis, 9 unc.
Colour. — The upper surface of the head and the back a tint intermediate
between brownish purple-red and deep reddish orange (lavender brown
mellowed with orange) ; the sides above the lateral line a paler tint of the
same colour, with reflections of a greyish tint. Below the lateral line the
colour is pale straw-yellow, and as above the line, is delicately variegated
with numerous minute dots of a dull chocolate-red. The sides of the head,
including the gill-covers, lips and cirri, pale straw-yellow, shaded with lilac-
purple, aurora-red, and pale Dutch orange. Pectoral fins pale sienna-yellow,
which fades towards their points into yellowish-white, the other fins wine-
yellow, tinted with yellowish-grey, the rays, in all, lightest. Eyes gamboge-
yellow, shaded with brownish-orange.
Form, &c. — Figure oblong ovate ; the dorsal and abdominal outlines with
nearly the same degree of curvature, which, in both, is slight ; snout full and
soft ; top of the head slightly arched ; suboperculum and interoperculum nar-
row ; the hindermost nasal opening the largest ; cirri about 4 lines in length ;
intermaxillary bones extensible. Scales rather small, considering the size of
the fish and the family (Cyprinidce) to which it belongs, their outer surface pos-
teriorly rugose from a number of fine radiating stria. The lateral line com-
mences near the upper extremity of gill-covers, and terminates at the middle
of the base of the caudal fin, its course near its commencement is slightly
deflexed, but on reaching the point below the commencement of the dorsal
fin its direction is nearly in a straight line. The commencement of the
dorsal fin is a little in front of the pectoral fins, and nearly midway between
the snout and base of the caudal fin ; the first and second rays of the dorsal
and anal fins hard, the others soft, and towards their points divided, the first
ray much shorter than the second. Caudal fin deeply forked. Stomach
slender and thin, intestines delicate and much rolled, their length about eight
or nine times that of the fish. Swimming bladder formed as in Cyprinida, the
upper portion with sides straight, and the extremities more or less semicircular;
the lower portion oblong ovate, the inferior end almost pointed, this portion is
strengthened by two spiral bands, the united parts of which inferiorly surround
the lower extremity of the bladder ; the duct which forms the communication
with the bowels arises from the upper extremity of the lower division.
Fin rays, D. 11. P. 16. V. 9. A. 6. C. 18.
This fish is found in many of the rivers of the Cape colony, in situations where the current is
slow and the bed muddy. It is rarely caught by the hook, and specimens are most readily
procured by dragging the semi-stagnant pools with a net. It is not used as food.
OTOLITHUS ^QUIDENS.— Cuv. & Val.
Pisces. — Plate XIII.
O. supra obscure cceruleo-purpureus, nebulis viridibus aurantiisque variegatus ; corporis lateribus infra
lineam lateralem, partibusque inferioribus argenteo-albis, flavo-tiuctis et griseo-purpureo-umbratis ; oris
partibus internis flavis ; linea. laterali subdeflexa, continua ; corpore elongato subovale ; capite antice
acuminato ; maxilla inferiore ultra superiore porrecta ; squarnis parvis, postice semicircularibus.
Longitudo ab apice nasi ad pinnae caudalis extremitatem in adulto, 3 ped. ad 4 ped. 6 unc.
Otolithus JEqttidens, Cuv.fy Val. — Hist. Nat. des Poissons, torn. 5, folio 66.
Geel Bek of the Cape Colonists.
Colour. — The ground colour of the back, and the upper part of the sides
above the lateral line, dull bluish purple, irregularly clouded with oil-green
and light orange-red, — the upper surface of the head and the centre of the
back in front of the dorsal fin, flashed with resplendent aurora-red ; the
scapular plate imperial purple, obscured with blackish purple. The sides
below the lateral line and the under parts pale silvery- white, tinted with
yellow, and shaded, especially the former, with light lavender-purple, the
shades strongest towards the lateral line. The sides of the head, including
the gill-covers, are oil-green, clouded with imperial purple, resplendent
aurora-red and king's-yellow. The intermaxillary bones at the angles of the
mouth are ultra-marine blue, and the groove between each and the maxillary
bone gamboge-yellow. The dorsal, caudal, and anal fins, are light cochineal-
red, shaded with pale brownish red ; the pectoral fins dull ash-grey, fading
posteriorly into yellowish white, and each fin towards the base is tinted with
oil-green. Ventral fins yellowish-white, shaded with dull flesh-red. The
edges of the lower jaw towards the angles of the mouth, and the inside of the
mouth, are bright gamboge-yellow. The eyes are saffron-yellow, shaded with
Form, &c— Body rather compressed and oblong-ovate, greatest depth
nearly one-fifth of its length, the part between dorsal and caudal fins very
slender. The dorsal outline rather more curved than the ventral. Head
conical, the apex formed by the pointed lower jaw which projects beyond the
upper ; the length of the head measured to hinder edge of operculum not
quite one-fourth of the whole length of the fish. Eyes moderately large,
situated directly over the hinder extremities of the maxillary bones ; nostrils
double on each side, the hindermost opening the largest, situated about mid-
way between the eyes and tip of snout. The preoperculum towards its hinder
margin without scales, the covering radiated. Teeth numerous, particularly
towards the anterior extremities of the jaws, where they are irregularly
disposed; they are curved backwards, and pointed; in the upper jaw, the
anterior teeth are the largest, in the lower jaw those situated towards the
angles of the mouth. The lateral line commences at the shoulder-plate and
runs nearly parallel with the line of the back till it reaches opposite the
middle of the first dorsal fin, it then extends slightly downwards till it
reaches nearly opposite the commencement of the anal fin, from thence it
proceeds in a straight line to the base of the central ray of the caudal fin.
The line is slightly interrupted, and consists of a series of slender raised
tubes, one tube to each scale, the basal opening on the outer, the apical
opening on the inner surface of the scale ; externally, opposite the apical
opening, each tube appears as if it divided into a number of small branches.
The scales are rather small as compared with the size of the fish, somewhat
five-sided, the posterior side which form the apical portion semicircular, each
scale presents three forms of organization, a triangular portion embracing the
whole of the base, more or less reticular, the lateral portions finely ribbed,
and the apical portion subcellular ; the scales of the sides above the lateral
line and those of the back smaller than those below the line. The first dorsal
fin very low where it unites with the second ; its height anteriorly is con-
siderably greater than that of the second dorsal, the second and third rays are
the longest ; the hinder extremity of the second dorsal is rather nearer to the
caudal fin than the corresponding extremity of the anal is to the caudal. Pec-
toral fins subovate ; the caudal fin posteriorly semilunar, the convexity for-
wards. Length of a full grown fish from three feet to three feet and a-half.
Fin rays D. 9— 27. P. 16. V. 6. A. 10. C. 18.
The Geel Bek occurs abundantly in the seas immediately around the southern point of
Africa, and is often caught in numbers in Table Bay, both by the hook and the seine. It is
not much esteemed as food.
DENTEX RUPESTRIS.— Cuv. & Val.
Pisces.— Plate XIV.
D. superne rubra, cyaneo, viridi, purpureoque umbrata ; inferne pallide flavo-alba, pallide cyaneo-
umbrata ; labio superiore purpureo, inferiore orisque angulo aurantiis ; pinn& dorsali purpureo-rubra,
rubro-tincta ; oculis aurantiis, pallide flavo, cseruleoque variegatis ; capite magno ; linea fascial! declivi ;
corpore antice valde crasso versus pinnam caudalem gracile ; dentibus caninis, utraque maxilla, quatuor,
Longitudo adulti 3 ped. 10 unc.
Dentex Rupestris, Cuv. $ Val. — Hist. Nat. des Poissons, torn. 6, folio 231.
Roode Steen Brass of the Cape Colonists.
Colour.— The ground colour of the back and sides, above the lateral line,
aurora-red, irregularly clouded with ultra-marine blue, oil-green and dull
lavender-purple ; towards the tail there is a distinct orange tint ; below the
lateral line the ground colour, anteriorly, towards the gills, is pale lemon-
yellow,— posteriorly, pale aurora-red, tinged with orange-yellow, and the
whole clouded with ultra-marine blue. The ground colour of the upper part
of the head is pale hyacinth-red, clouded with light orange, ultra-marine
blue, and lemon-yellow, the lateral and under parts of the head aurora-red,
clouded with lavender-purple and lemon-yellow. The upper lip is a pale
plum-purple, the lower lip and the angles of the mouth light Dutch-orange.
Dorsal fin brownish purple-red shaded with light tile-red. Pectoral fins
aurora-red, darkest above, and at the base clouded with ultra-marine blue, the
ventral, anal, and caudal fins, are pale reddish-orange, shaded with light
brownish red. Eyes deep reddish orange, pale yellow and ultra marine blue,
the colours disposed in irregular circles which pass into each other. The
whole of the fish, with the exception of the fins, has a mother-of-pearl gloss.
Form, &c— Body large, thick, and bulky, between dorsal and caudal fins
rather slender ; dorsal outline slightly curved, abdominal outline as far as
anal fin nearly straight, the portion on which the anal fin rests is inclined
upwards, the remaining part sloping slightly to the caudal fin. The profile
of the face strongly declining and broken, or rendered irregular by a large
projection or bulge over the anterior and superior edge of the orbit. Lower
jaw deep and robust ; both lips large and pulpy. Teeth disposed in a band
upon the margin of each jaw ; all, except those which form the outer row,
small, and closely set, those of outer row rather large, cylindrical curved and
pointed, the four front ones of each jaw very powerful, and many times the size
of the others, but of the same shape and with a like curve. Nostrils on each
side double, the hinder opening the largest ; they are situated under and
immediately in front of the anterior extremity of the superciliary bulge.
Eyes very large. Back rather compressed, its edge anteriorly to dorsal fin
thin and cutting. Lateral line broken, and consists of a series of slender
hollow tubes, one on each scale, the hinder opening of which is on the
exterior surface of scale, the anterior on inner surface ; the line extends from
the upper edge of the operculum to the centre of the base of caudal fin,
towards its commencement it is slightly arched, the curvature upwards, then
nearly straight till it pass the hinder extremity of dorsal fin, from this point
its course is oblique or sloping downwards to its termination. Scales very
large and four-sided, the angles rounded. Dorsal fin commences some
distance behind base of pectoral fins ; pectoral fins somewhat falciform.
Fin rays, D. 22. P. 17. V. 6. A. 11. C. 19.
The Rooye Steen Brass is taken in the seas which wash the coasts of Southern Africa,
generally by the hook, frequently also in nets; and the number caught at one time is some-
times so great, as even to endanger the net, and make it a work of labour to get it on shore.
It is highly esteemed as food.
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SCIiENA HOLOLEPIDOTA.— Cuv. & Val.
Pisces. — Plate XV.
S. capite coeruleo-purpureo, rutilo, flavo et flavo-viride nebulato ; dorso, lateribusque supra lineara lateralem
aurantio-carneis effuse purpureo-variegatis, ambobus antice viridi-coeruleo splendentibus ; lateribus
infra lineam lateralem pallide carneis viridi-purpnreo prsecipue versus caudam umbratis, Oculis
coaruleo-purpureo et flavo-coloribus in forma annulorum ordinatis.
Longitudo ab apice nasi ad pinnse caudalis extremitatem 3 ped.
Sclena Hololepidota, Cuv. & Val. Hist. Nat. des Poissons, torn, v. p. 33.
Labrtjs Hololepidotus, Lacepede? Hist. Nat. des Poissons, torn. iii. p. 448. pi. 21. fig. 2.
Colour. — The upper and lateral parts of the head bluish purple, the
former flashed with resplendent aurora-red, the latter mottled with clouds or
shades of pale saffron-yellow and oil-green; the sides of the lower jaw and
the under surface of the head pale flesh-red. The back near to the head,
and the sides of the body above the lateral line, immediately under the portion
of the back referred to, resplendent greenish blue ; the other parts of the back
and of the sides above the line a colour intermediate between flesh-red and
Dutch-orange, freely and extensively variegated however with shades and
tints of imperial purple, which are most distinct anteriorly. The sides below
the lateral line are a light flesh-red, strongly shaded, particularly towards the
tail, with greenish purple ; belly pale flesh-red, inclining to reddish white.
The first dorsal fin and the basal third of the second a tint intermediate
between pearl-grey and flesh-red the other two-thirds of the second dorsal
fin shaded with dull reddish purple ; the pectoral fins are a pale pearl-grey,
tinted towards the tips with gamboge-yellow ; the ventral fins pearl-grey,
sparingly clouded with yellow. The anal and caudal fins are flesh-red,
shaded longitudinally with dull reddish purple. Eyes bright bluish purple,
and primrose-yellow ; the colours disposed in rings ; the outer ring purple,
the inner ring yellow.
Form, &c. — Figure elongated subovate ; dorsal outline anterior to the first
dorsal fin oblique and slightly arched, from the commencement of the first
dorsal to the hinder extremity of the second dorsal, slightly sloping down-
wards ; from the last-named point it is nearly straight to within a short dis-
tance of the caudal fin, and posterior to the straight portion it extends
upwards and backward to the last-named fin. Abdominal outline between
apex of lower jaw and anal fin nearly straight or only very slightly waved,
the portion of outline in which the fin is set slightly arched, with an inclina-
tion upwards, the remaining portion with a slight slope upwards till within a
short distance of the caudal fin, where it changes its inclination, and slopes
downwards and backwards to the base of the fin. Head rather large ; nose
rounded and obtuse ; gape directed forwards, of moderate width, and each
jaw furnished with a row of moderately strong, pointed, cylindrical, and rather
short teeth, which have a curvature inwards, and are placed rather widely
apart. Besides these teeth, there is in the upper jaw a narrow row of small
slender teeth on their inner side, and in the lower jaw there is scattered
around the bases of the larger teeth a number of smaller ones, nearly
similar in form to the larger ones. The eyes are situated near to the superior
outline of the head, and directly over the hinder extremities of the maxillary
bones ; nostrils small, double, and placed directly in front of the inner corner
of the eye, and nearly directly over the angle of the mouth. The head, the
gill-covers, and the body, are covered with moderate-sized scales, which, on
the latter, are disposed in oblique rows, the direction of which is downwards
and backwards. The lateral line is arched anteriorly, the convexity upwards,
the posterior half is nearly straight. Dorsal fin deeply notched between the
spinous and cartilaginous portion, the third and fourth spinous ray the
longest, the second and fifth about equal and rather shorter than the fourth,
the first and seventh nearly of equal length, the second portion has its rays
nearly all of equal length, and all rather longer than the eighth spinous ray.
Pectoral fins somewhat fan-shaped, the upper rays longest. The ventral fins
are directly under the pectoral fins and the commencement of the dorsal fin,
and are truncated behind, as is also the anal fin. Caudal fin posteriorly very
B, 7 ; D. 10/19 ; P. 17 ; V. ; A. 8 ; C. 18.
Individuals are frequently caught which measure three feet, and even more,
in length ; but the ones most commonly obtained are between two feet five
and two feet eight inches.
This fish, the Kablelgaauw of the Dutch inhabitants, is principally taken by means of baited
hooks ; but many occasionally are caught in seines. It is held in moderate estimation as an
article of food, and from such numbers existing in the vicinity of Table Bay, it forms one of the
staple fish of the Cape market,
RHINOBATUS (SYRRHINA) ANNULATUS.— Smith.
Pisces.— Plate XVI.
R. supra flavo-cinereus annulis livido-brunneis variegatus ; infra carneus ; aculeis parvis in ordine
transverso ante oculum ; naso depresso antice rotundato ; aculeis parvis in medio dorsi inter caput et
prim am pinnam dorsalem.
Longitudo ab apice nasi ad extremitatem pinnae caudalis, 39 unc.
Rhinobatus (Syrrhina) annulatus, Muller et Henle, Be.sch der Plagiostomen, p. 116.
Colour. — Above, the tint is intermediate between yellowish grey and
greenish grey, the former colour predominating on the fins ; below, light
flesh-red. The hinder parts of the head and the back and sides in front of the
second dorsal fin are sparingly sprinkled with eye-like spots, each spot con-
sisting of two dark rings, a light ring and a light central spot ; the dark rings
are clove-brown, the light ring and the central spot bluish white, or pale
lavender-purple. Eyes silvery with a greenish tint ; apex of snout superiorly
Form, &c. — Head flat and subtriangular, the snout, which forms the apex
of the triangle, thin and rounded ; the body convex above, nearly flat beneath,
and tapering gradually from the hindhead to the caudal fin, the portion
immediately in front of the latter very slender and subcylindrical. Opening
of eyes rather small and ovate; postorbital opening immediately behind the
eye, oblique, large, oval, and with two small, triangular, cuticular lobules
projecting forewards from its hind edge, towards the upper extremity. About a
quarter of an inch in front of each eye is a short semicircular transverse ridge,
the hinder edge of which is armed with a number of short, strong, and pointed
teeth, directed horizontally backwards, and there are indications of a few
others disposed in a small cluster above the upper extremity of each post-
orbital opening. Nasal bones long, about one inch apart between the dentated
ridges in front of the eyes, towards apex of nose nearly in contact and
parallel. Nostrils large, oblique, and anteriorly divided into two parts by a
loose triangular lobule, the inner portion of which is so prolonged as nearly
to meet its fellow of the opposite side, the hinder edge of prolongation loose,
the anterior edge throughout attached. Mouth directly transverse, and both
jaws armed with smooth, convex, and closely-set teeth, transversely, of an
RHINOBATUS (SYRRHINA) ANNULATUS.
oval form. Dorsal fins rather small, placed far back on the body, and each
truncated behind. Ventral fins small, the hinder and outer edge prolonged.
Caudal fin somewhat oval, or imperfectly diamond-shaped, the upper part
posteriorly most prolonged. The spines in the course of the dorsal line are
very short, slender, obtuse, and scarcely visible in the fresh fish ; and the
skin, if stroked from the head, is smooth; if towards the head, rough. The
eye-like variegations are alike, as regards number and position, on both
Length from the tip of the nose to the
point of the tail 39
Distance between the tip of the nose
and the eye 5
between the tip of the nose and
the commencement of first
dorsal fin 24
between the first dorsal fin and
the commencement of the
Distance between the second dorsal fin and
the commencement of the
caudal fin 2 6
between the tip of the nose and
the outer angle of the nostril 4
between the tip of the nose and
the mouth 5
Width of the mouth 2
Greatest width of the body, including the
pectoral fins 12
The length between the tip of the caudal fin and the anterior extremity of
the eye is nearly six and a half times that between the anterior extremity of
the eye and the point of the snout.
The first specimen of this fish which I procured, was taken in a seine near the mouth of the
Cowie River, and I have seen others of the same species caught in Algoa Bay. It has not yet
been found to the westward of Cape Point, nor is it known to the fishermen of Simon's Town.
It is always found in situations where the bottom of the sea is level and sandy.
OSTRACION UNDECIM-ACULEATUS.— Smith.
Pisces. — Plate XVII.
O. supra lucide ochraceus ; infra straminens ; pinnis subochraceis ; figura. quadrangulare, angulis aculeis
armatis, quinque dorso, sex abdominis lateribus ; fissura. brancbiale angulata.
Longitudo a nasi apice ad extremitatem pinnse caudalis 6 unc.
Colour. — Back and sides intermediate between ochre and straw-yellow,
the tint clear and semipellucid ; below straw-yellow or pale cream-yellow ;
fins the same colour as the back, only paler and without the lucid hue. In
many specimens the upper and lateral parts of the head and the lower
portions of the sides over the abdominal angles irregularly tinged with a dull
Form, &c. — Figure quadrangular; the superior or dorsal side much
narrower than the inferior or abdominal side, and the lateral sides, in
regard of breadth, intermediate between the two. The angle at each side of
the back, formed by the junction of the dorsal and lateral sides, nearly
straight anteriorly, posteriorly convergent, and behind the dorsal fin forms
with its fellow of the opposite side a flat triangular and obtuse point, which
projects over the upper surface of the tail. The breadth of the dorsal side is
greatest at the points where the angles begin to converge, and each point is
armed with a short, pointed, horizontal spine. Besides those spines there are
three others on the back, one projecting anteriorly from each superciliary
ridge, and one about midway between the two first-mentioned, near the
centre of the back in front of the dorsal fin. Top of the head level
posteriorly, concave anteriorly, the concavity broad between the eyes, narrow
towards the hindhead ; the sides of head under the eyes compressed ; face
moderately broad and rounded, muzzle rather produced and projecting
slightly beyond the general slope of the face. Branchial opening angular,
and situated some distance behind a line let fall from the outer corner of the
eye. The lateral sides of the cuirass, which are slightly waved, diverge
from above downwards, and the abdominal angles, formed by the lateral and
under sides of the cuirass, anteriorly obtuse, posteriorly acute, and each
is armed with three short spines, the first situated about midway between
the nose and hinder extremity of the cuirass, the last at the extremity of the
latter, and the third about equidistant between these two: the direction
of all is horizontal, the two first extend laterally, the last backwards and
outwards. The inferior or abdominal side slightly subovate and convex,
narrow anteriorly, subtruncate posteriorly, and with a slight semicircular
projection immediately under the tail. The plates of the back are irregularly
five or six sided, each having its margin prominent and considerably raised
above the disc ; those of the sides present a like irregularity in regard to
form, but their margins are less distinctly indicated, and there is no very
marked inequality between them and the discs. The plates of the sides of the
head are small, and fashioned like those of the back. The plates of the belly
have their margin very prominent, and their disc hollow ; the former is
smooth, and the latter is studded with pellucid granules ; the anterior portion
of the back, the sides of the head, and all the angles are also more or less
granular. The anal is situated considerably behind the dorsal fin, and both
are rather fan-shaped. Tail subcylindrical ; caudal fin moderately long, and
square or slightly rounded behind. The pectoral fin has the upper rays
longest, the lower one shortest.
Inch. Lin. Inch. Lin.
Length from the nose to the hinder edge
of the cuirass 5 6
Distance between the nose and the base
of the dorsal fin 3
Distance between the nose and the hase of
the anal fin 3 8
between the nose and the bran-
chial opening 1 2
Young. — In young specimens the back is very narrow, and the lower or
abdominal parts very broad and bulging ; the spines, in proportion, are more
elongated, and the figure altogether is less regularly angular.
Inhabits the seas about the Cape of Good Hope, and also the Indian Ocean. Specimens are
frequently found on the beech after gales of wind, both to the eastward and northward of Cape
Town, and individuals are occasionally taken in nets in Table Bay.
OSTRACION BICUSPES.— Blumenb.
Pisces.— Plate XVIII.
0. supra pallide flavo-brunneus, aurantio-brunneo nebulatus ; infra lactifloreus ; cauda. flavo-brunnea ;
pinnis lactifioreis ; carina dorsi angulisque lateralibus, duobus aculeis parvis armatis ; naso obtuso,
sub- horizon tale.
Longitudo e nasi apice ad pinna? caudalis extremitatem 10 unc.
Obstracion Bictjspes. Blumenb. Abbild. Naturhist. Gegen, No. 58.
OSTRACION STELLIFER. Schtl. Syst. Icth. Bloch.
Colour. — Back and sides pale yellowish brown, faintly tinted or clouded
with light orange-coloured brown ; belly pale cream-yellow ; tail, behind
cuirass, pale yellowish brown ; fins cream-yellow, each at the base faintly
tinted with light yellowish-brown ; sides of the head with three or four hori-
zontal livid coloured lines.
Form, &c. — Figure triangular, the apex of the triangle formed by the
ridge of the back (vide fig. 6). Head above broad ; between eye-brow T s
slightly concave ; behind eyes rather convex ; sides of the head compressed ;
facial outline narrow, and removed but little from the perpendicular; muzzle
protuberant, pointed, and forming an obtuse angle with the line of the face.
Mouth directed obliquely downwards ; lips thick ; teeth moderately long and
slender ; eyes rather large ; branchial opening perpendicular and directly
under the outer canthus of the eye. Face rough from granules, but no
distinct plates ; plates of the side of the head small, generally six-sided
granular, but without divergent rays. The ridge of the back is acute, mode-
rately elevated, slightly arched, and armed with two small spines, one behind
the other, towards the middle or most elevated portion of the curve; the arch
commences at the centre of the hind head, a little behind the outer canthus of
the eye, and ends at the commencement of the dorsal fin. Behind the dorsal
fin the upper part of the cuirass is flat, and rather broad, its hinder part pro-
jecting some way along the upper surface of the tail, in the form of an obtuse
point. The sides slope obliquely from the ridge of the back to the abdo-
minal angles, and behind the eyes bulge considerably beyond a regular slope,
as will be understood on reference to section b ; the hinder edge of the sides
of cuirass semicircular, the convexity forwards. Under surface nearly flat,
and somewhat diamond-shaped ; the greatest width a little way behind the
commencement of the second third of the body ; the hinder extremity of the
under surface broad and triangular, its termination directly under the point
which forms the upper elongation. The lateral or abdominal angles spread-
ing particularly towards the middle of the cuirass ; towards the head they are
rather obtuse, elsewhere thin and sharp, and each, when perfect, is armed with
two or four short and slender spines, the longest and strongest of each side
situated at the most diverging point, as represented in figure a. The plates
of the cuirass are irregularly six or seven sided, and the surface of each is
divided into six or seven somewhat triangular compartments, by the same
number of narrow rugose ridges radiating from a common centre, and each
compartment, like the ridges, is more or less rugose, from the existence of a
number of small semi-circular granules. In consequence of a certain degree
of regularity in the arrangement of some of these ridges, an appearance is
produced as if the sides were crossed longitudinally by several rows of long,
narrow, and oval compartments, arranged like links of a chain. The plates
of the under surface six-sided ; those towards the head closely coated with
granules ; those on the belly with four or six divergent ridges, and only a very
few granules. Tail subcylindrical ; dorsal, pectoral, and anal fins square
behind, and the first ray of each the longest ; caudal fin posteriorly slightly
rounded, or square.
Length from the point of the nose to
the hinder edge of the caudal fin ... 10
Distance between the hinder angle of the
eye, and the base of the dorsal fin . . . 4 3
Distance between the hinder angle of the
eye, and the base of the anal fin ... 4 9
Distance between the nose and the bran-
chial opening 1 10|
In very young specimens (fig. b), the superciliary ridges are arched, sharp,
and armed with two delicate compressed spines. The arch of the back is
greater than in adults, and the abdominal angles are more expanded
Inhabits the seas of Southern Africa, and found most frequently in the bays of the South-
DENTEX ARGYROZONA.— Cuv. & Val.
Pisces. — Plate XIX.
D. superne subrubra, subtus carnea, lineis longitudinalibus pallide purpureo-notatis ; dentibus caninis
maxilla mandibulaque quatuor ; mandibulse apice ultra maxillam porrecta ; squamis capitis fortiter
Longittjdo e capitis apice ad extremitatem pinnse caudalis 23 unc.
Dentex Argyrozona, Hist. Natur. des Poisson, par Cuvier et Val., torn vi., p. 235.
Silver fish of the Cape Colonists.
Colour. — The back and the sides of the body above the lateral line a tint
intermediate between scarlet and aurora-red ; the sides below the lateral line
flesh-red, variegated with a number of narrow, longitudinal bands of faint
purple ; the under parts of the head and body pale rose-red, — all, in certain
lights, exhibiting slight tints of purple. The upper surface of the head, the
nape, and the preorbital plate a colour intermediate between yellowish brown
and honey-yellow ; the other portions of the sides of the head and the gill-
covers flesh-red, slightly tinted with honey-yellow and faintly clouded with
violet-purple ; the operculum and preoperculum bordered posteriorly with a
silvery grey band, speckled with minute dark points. Dorsal fin pale purplish
red ; pectorals intermediate between scarlet and aurora-red ; ventral, anal,
and caudal fins flesh-red, slightly shaded with pale scarlet. Eyes bright
Form, &c. — Figure oblong oval, the dorsal outline rather more arched than
the ventral. Head anteriorly pointed, the lower jaw rather longer than the
upper ; mouth moderately large and slightly inclined upwards. Eyes rather
large. Nostrils double, one directly before the other, about a line apart, and
the hindermost almost twice the size of the front one ; they are on a level
with the upper edge of the orbit, and not quite half an inch in front of it.
The hinder edge of the preoperculum superiorly nearly vertical, inferiorly
arched or semicircular. Hinder edge of operculum semilunar and slightly
waved. Teeth partly canine partly criniform, the former external to the
latter, the four anteriorniost of each jaw the largest and situated widely apart,
the middle two of the four are nearly directly in front and much smaller than
the two behind them ; the others, which form a continuous row behind the
large ones, are closely set, comparatively small, pointed, slightly curved in-
wards, and largest towards the angles of the mouth ; the criniform teeth are
situated on the inner side of the canines, and have a few small ones of the
latter description generally mixed with them, particularly towards the apex
of the lower jaw. The upper surface of the head anteriorly, the preorbital
plates, the lips, the under surface of the lower jaw, and the operculum and
preoperculum towards their posterior edge, smooth and without scales ; all
the other parts, the fins excepted, covered with scales. The scales on the
upper and hinder surface of the head are small, highly imbricate, and of a
somewhat rhomboidal form ; those of the body are much larger than those of
the head, and the portion of each which is uncovered is of a semilunar shape,
they also are highly imbricate. The scales immediately above and in front
of the ventral fins are rather small, but in disposition and configuration some-
what like those of the operculum ; at the base of each ventral fin externally a
long pointed horny scale. The operculum and preoperculum near to the hinder
edge are covered with a fine thin smooth skin. Lateral line slightly arched
and has its origin a little above the superior angle of the operculum, its ter-
mination at the base of the caudal fin about midway between its upper and
under edges. Dorsal fin highest anteriorly, the fifth ray longest, the third
and fourth only slightly shorter, the first and second cartilaginous rays rather
longer than the last bony ray. The pectoral fin superiorly very long and
pointed, the fourth ray the longest ; the ventral fins rather small, the third
ray longest ; the anal anteriorly deepest, the first and second cartilaginous
rays rather the longest ; caudal fin lunate. Length of specimen described,
23 inches ; length of head from anterior extremity of lower jaw to hinder edge
of operculum, 6j inches.
D., V; P-, 16; V., i; A.,-f. ; 0., 19.
Inhabits the seas of the eastern and western coasts of South Africa, and is a very common
fish in the Cape market. It is generally caught by means of baited hooks.
CYBIUM FLAVO-BRUNNEUM— Smith.
Pisces. — Plate XX.
C. capite rubro-brunneo, mandibular lateribus tectricibusque brancbiarum argentio-lavatis ; corpore flavo-
brunneo ; squamis parvis indistinctis ; caudee carina acuta et distincta ; pinnis rubro-brunneis ; pinnis
spuriis supra quinque, infra quatuor ; pinna caudale profunde furcata.
Longitudo ab apice mandibular ad apicem pinnee caudalis 24 unc.
Colour.— The body is of a tint intermediate between light chesnut-brown
and yellowish brown, faintly and delicately reticulated from the margins of the
portion of the small scales, which is uncovered, being faintly semi-pellucid ;
the head and the fins deep-reddish brown, the sides of the lower jaw and
the surface of gill-coverts with a strong silvery lustre. The lower portion
of the sides and the under parts are lighter than the back, and distinctly
tinged with flesh-red.
Form, &c. — Figure lengthened and subovate ; dorsal outline slightly
curved ; ventral outline considerably arched. Head compressed and conical ;
the top of the head nearly level and the under jaw slopped upwards, the lat-
ter rather longer than the upper, and at the point is truncated and much deeper
than the upper. The margins of the jaws are curved downwards to the
angles of the mouth, which are situated directly under the anterior edge of
the eyes; each jaw supports a row of teeth, and there are besides two large
fangs curving backwards a little behind the front of the upper jaw on the
anterior part of the palate ; the teeth of the upper jaw are very small and
cylindrical, about half a line apart, and slightly curved inwards ; those of
the under jaw are considerably larger, more apart from each other, and with a
like curvature inwards. Nostrils double, small, vertical, and about half an
inch apart, the one directly in front of the other, the hindermost nearly half
an inch before the anterior and upper edge of the orbit. Orbits large, some-
what circular. Postocular plate distinctly marked with longitudinal stria ;
the preoperculum superiorly with vertical stria, inferiorly slightly puckered ;
operculum radiated ; infraoperculum smooth, all covered with small some-
what circular scales ; the posterior edge of operculum semicircular and nearly
unbroken. The body covered closely with small delicate scales, but indis-
tinctly visible in the fresh fish, though manifest in dried specimens. Tail fur-
nished with a strong sharp keel on each side. The first dorsal fin commences
a little behind the pectoral, is low, and the rays are connected by a delicate,
nearly colourless membrane ; it terminates a little in front of the second,
and unless when elevated, is concealed in a groove which runs along the
centre of the back. The second dorsal fin anteriorly is rather high, the
second, third, and fourth rays being considerably prolonged, posteriorly it is
low, and scarcely rising higher than the false fins ; the posterior edge of this fin
has a falciform appearance. The anal is formed after the manner of the dorsal,
and commences a little in front of the hinder extremity of the latter. The
pectoral fins are rather long, narrow, and the upper and posterior extremity
of each ends in a point. The ventral fins are narrow and of moderate length ;
the caudal fin is deeply forked and the longest, the outer rays of each por-
tion forming a sharp point. The false fins, five above and four below, are
small, and the hindermost rays of each much prolonged.
Distance between the nose and the eye 2 3
from the nose to the com-
mencement of 1st dorsal fin 6 6
from the nose to the 2d dorsal fin 11 2
Distance from the nose to the anal fin . 13 6
Length from the nose to the extremity
of the caudal fin 24
The greatest depth of the body is rather more than one-sixth of the total
This fish is now and then caught in the seas about the Cape of Good Hope ; but none of the
fishermen with whom I conversed had ever known more than two specimens to have been
caught in the same season.
PENTACEROS RICHARDSON!.— Smith.
Pisces. — Plate XXI.
P. capite scabra striato ; squamis paucis infra oculos ; tborace scutis parvis multilateralibus tecto ;
dentibus criniformibus ; spinis pinnarum osseis, fortibus, longitudinaliter striatis ; linea laterali
Longitudo e naso ad apicem caudse 21 unc.
Colour. — Head above intermediate between wood-brown and aurora-red,
which colour is shaded or freckled with brownish red and superiorly varie-
gated with a few narrow waved black veins from the skin which connects
the osseous plates being of the latter colour. Sides of head below eyes
irregularly mottled lilac-purple and aurora-red, the former colour being most
distinct behind the angles of the mouth, posterior to the eyes and on
the posterior and upper edge of the operculum. Back and sides over the
lateral line intermediate between brownish red and auricula-purple, and
faintly glossed with oil-green ; sides below the lateral line and the belly
yellowish grey freely shaded with light imperial purple. Dorsal fin light
reddish brown clouded particularly towards its base with imperial purple,
rays aurora-red shaded with brownish-red. Caudal, anal and ventral fins
yellowish grey rayed with brownish-red and glossed with purple. Pectoral
fins aurora-red striped between the rays with brownish-red. Eyes, — outer
portion of iris deep pansy-purple, middle silvery white, and the inner portion
Colour of dried skin. — Head yellowish brown, finely rayed with reddish-
brown, back and sides yellowish brown freckled and shaded with umber-
brown. Dorsal fin light orange coloured brown, shaded with brownish-red.
Caudal fin light yellowish brown, rayed towards apex with brownish-red.
Form, &c. — Body subovate and compressed. Dorsal outline from origin
to termination of dorsal fin slightly inclined, anterior to origin very oblique,
the facial angle being about 45°. Ventral outline slightly but regularly
arched till near the middle of the anal fin, behind that the hinder edge of
fin is curved strongly inwards to join the narrow portion of the body which
lies in front of the caudal fin. Head compressed and conical ; lower jaw
longest; gape small and each jaw has a broad band of short criniform
teeth. Nostrils double, the hindermost the largest, and both situated rather
nearer to the eye than the nose. Eyes large. Head rather more than one-
fourth of the total length of the fish, being 5 J in a specimen measuring 21
inches. The surface of the head between the preoperculum and subor-
bital plates consists of rather small somewhat circular scales, elsewhere
of strong bony plates externally radiated with granular striae. Shoulder
plates radiated in the same manner, the uppermost very coarsely. The under
surface of the body in front of ventral fins is flat and formed somewhat like
the thorax of an Ostracion : behind these fins to anus keeled, and both these
parts together with the edge of back between hind head and origin of dorsal
fin covered with hard tubercular or subangular plates, placed side by side like
stones in a pavement ; the other parts of the body are covered with scales simi-
lar to what are found on fishes generally, only they are rather small, as com-
pared with the size of the specimen. Lateral line commences immediately
over the second scapular plate, ascends, forming an arch, towards the dorsal fin
and on its reaching a point, under the fifth ray, it proceeds parallel with the
base of the dorsal fin till near the last spinous ray, where it begins to descend
obliquely till it reaches about midway between the termination of the anal
and dorsal fins ; from thence it proceeds in a straight line to the caudal fin.
Dorsal fin very strong anteriorly; the spinous rays very robust, and all
longitudinally striated; the fourth, fifth, and sixth rays the longest, — the
first much the shortest : the soft portion of dorsal fin very short, and not
higher than the lowest portion of the spinous part. Pectoral fin, pointed, the
first ray spinous, but short and slender ; the fifth ray the longest. Ventral
fins small, and the first or spinous ray very large and longitudinally striated.
Anal fin with the spinous rays strong, the second the longest, and all striated;
the cartilaginous rays shorter than the spinous. Caudal fin posteriorly
straight, or the outer rays of each side in the slightest possible degree
longer than the middle ones.
D. V; P. T V; Y.fr A.$; C. 16.
Length of individual described, 21 inches.
The only specimen of this Fish I have seen, was procured near to Cape Point, and was taken
by means of a hook in very deep water.
1. S E B A S T E S C A?EN S ] S .
2. SEBAST E S MACUL AT U S .
SEBASTES CAPENSIS.— Cuv. et Vall.
Pisces.— Plate XXII. Fig. 1.
S. ruber, partibus inferioribus pallide purpureo-tinctis ; capite superne aculeis duodecim ; preoperculo
aculeis quinque, operculo duobus versus apicem armatis; pinna caudali subfalcata.
Longitudo e naso ad apicem pinnse caudalis 14 unc.
Scorp^ena Capensis, Gmel.
Scorpene Africaine, Lacep. t. iii. p. 266.
Colour. — The upper surface of the head, its sides to the operculum, and
the body above the lateral line, a tint intermediate between chesnut-brown
and purplish red, which towards the caudal fin passes into light reddish
orange. The edges of most of the scales are of a light pearly colour, and in
addition to these slight variegations, there occur also a few irregular-shaped
flesh-red spots distinctly indicated in the fresh fish. Lower parts of body
below lateral line and hinder portion of operculum buff-orange shaded with
aurora-red, and towards lateral line faintly clouded with crimson -red ; the
point of operculum carmine-red. Lower jaw, lower portion of operculum,
space in front of pectoral and ventral fins, and the upper lips intermediate
between brownish purple-red and lake-red. Dorsal fin between lake-red and
chesnut-brown. Pectoral, ventral, and caudal fins aurora-red, the two first
rayed with lake-red only very faintly towards lower part of pectorals, the
caudal is rayed with light orange- coloured brown, and tinged with lake-red.
Anal fin pale buff-orange rayed with brownish purple-red. Eyes bright
brownish orange, with incomplete rings of bright gall-stone yellow and
Form, &c— Figure anteriorly bulky, posteriorly rather slender, the body
being much tapered towards the caudal fin. Head large posteriorly, and
tapered to the snout ; not quite a third of the length of the fish, and supe-
riorly is armed on each side with an irregular row of spines, several of
which have their base prolonged horizontally, forming fine sharp heels, best
seen in prepared specimens. One of these points occurs immediately inside
of the hindermost nostril, four over the eye, one in front and three
behind ; and the last, with its lengthened base, is situated more towards
the mesial line, and immediately over the base of the uppermost spine of
the shoulder. Preoperculum posteriorly with a prominent edge, which is
armed with five more or less acute and strong spines ; operculum terminated
posteriorly by a triangular fleshy point, before which are two spines, the
lowermost the smallest. Spines of shoulders two, situated between the
point of the uppermost spine of operculum and the last spine of the head.
Dorsal outline from origin of dorsal fin to snout strongly arched from the
former to caudal fin nearly straight, or with a slight concavity most distinct
under the seventh and eight dorsal rays. Ventral outline, from tip of lower jaw
to origin of anal fin, rather strongly arched ; from latter to caudal fin a gently
ascending line. Lateral line nearly parallel to the outline of the back, is slightly
raised, and commences above the lowermost shoulder-plate, and terminates
midway between the two edges of the base of the caudal fin. Space in front
of eyes, upper lip, and lower jaw, without scales, the other parts of the head
and body covered with scales ; those on the former small and irregular ; those
on the body moderately large, semicircular ; and all, excepting those of the
belly, with the posterior edge finely serrated. Dorsal fin rather low, the
membranous portion highest, and of the spinous rays the third is the longest.
Caudal fin posteriorly subfalcate ; pectorals oblong, posteriorly ovate, the
rays fleshy, and the eight inferior ones only connected by membrane towards
their base. Ventral fins moderately long, the second and third rays longest,
the first spinous and strong. Anal fin rather deep ; the three first rays
spinous, the two first very strong, the third rather slender, removed from
second and in close contact with the first cartilaginous ray, which, and the
second, are the longest. Eyes rather large. Nostrils double, and close to
the upper and anterior edge of orbit, the one in front of the other. Teeth
criniform, and forming a narrow band round the inner edge of each jaw.
Adult specimens generally measure about 14 inches in length.
B. 7; " D.-H; p - 18 ; v -i; A -i> c - u -
Inhabits the seas around the Cape of Good Hope, and is caught generally with baited hooks ;
it is a common fish in the market of Cape Town.
SEBASTES MACULATUS.—Cuv. et Vall.
Pisces.— Plate XXII. Fig. 2.
S. subruber; capite superne aculeis duodecim; preoperculo aculeis quinque, operculo duobus armatis ;
rostro lato rotundato ; ore magno ; pinnae analis aculeo secundo fortissimo.
Longititdo e naso ad apicem pinnae caudalis 14 ad 16 una
Colour. — The upper parts of the head and the body above the lateral
line a tint intermediate between light carmine-red and tile-red, the former
and the anterior portion of the latter shaded with brownish red, the posterior
portion mottled with shades of Dutch-orange, and moreover marked with
a few irregular-shaped spots of flesh-red. Sides of the head and the body
below the lateral line dull flesh red, clouded with varying tints of lilac-purple
and Dutch-orange ; the belly distinctly tinged with yellow. Lower jaw and
operculum inferiorly flesh -red shaded with lavender-purple ; upper lip dull
orpiment-orange. Dorsal fin close to base intermediate between tile-
red and blood-red, towards upper edge light tile-red ; the very base of the
membranous portion pale buff-orange; caudal, pectoral and ventral fins
flesh-red rayed with lake-red ; anal fin pale buff-orange rayed and shaded
with lake-red. Eyes light gall-stone yellow, variegated with incomplete rings
of tile-red and pearl-grey.
Form, &c— Figure anteriorly bulky, the belly pendant. Head about one-
third of the length of the fish, and superiorly armed on each side with the
same number of spines and cutting ridges as Sebastes Capensis, only both are
more developed. Preoperculum with five strong triangular and pointed
spines ; operculum with two lengthened spines about half an inch in front of
its fleshy triangular point, the uppermost the most conspicuous. Distance
between the eyes greater than in Sebastes Capensis, and the breadth of its
nose and the width of its gape also much greater. Nostrils double, one in
front of the other ; teeth criniform and arranged in the form of a narrow
band around the inner edge of each jaw. Eyes large and projecting consi-
derably in advance of the orbits. Lateral line slightly undulated and nearly
parallel with the outline of the back. Dorsal outline but slightly arched ;
ventral outline more strongly. Space in front of eyes, outer surface of lips,
and lower jaws smooth, the other parts of the head covered with small
irregular scales ; scales of body considerably larger, and have their hinder
edge finely serrated. The dorsal fin commences directly over the base of the
pectoral, and its membranous portion is much higher than the spinous
portion. Pectoral fins oblong, ovate, the rays, particularly of the lower
portion of the fin, full, fleshy, and not connected by membrane towards their
points. Ventral fins small, the first ray strong and spinous. Anal fin with
three spinous rays, the second very strong and of the same length as the
third ; cartilaginous rays considerably longer. Caudal fin slightly sub-
B. 7; D. ||; P. 18; V. £; A. f; C. 14.
Length of adult specimens from 14 to 1(3 inches.
This species, which in common with Sebastes Capensis inhabits the seas of the Cape of Good
Hope, is readily to be distinguished from the latter by the much greater breadth of its head and
nose, by the greater width of its gape, by its protruding eyes, by the great size of the two spinous
rays of the anal fin, and also by its profile being less oblique.
1. S ARGUS HO TTENT T U 5
Z . S A R G U S CAPENSIS.
Pisces, Plate 23.
- l , 3-Dc
SARGUS HOTTENTOTUS.— Smith.
Pisces.— Plate XXIII. Fig. 1.
S. corpore fasciis quinque verticalibus variegatis ; maxillse dentibus incisoribus duodicem, mandibulas
octo; pinnis ventralibus postice subarcuatis ; pinna caudali furcata.
Longitudo e naso ad extremitatem pinnae caudalis 1 7 unc. 6 lin.
Colour. — The upper and lateral parts of the head blackish purple, tinted
with auricula and plum-purple ; interoperculum and lower surface of under-
jaw verging on plum-purple. The back and sides superiorly faintly striped,
longitudinally blackish purple and lilac-brown; sides inferiorly and belly
silvery white, the scales narrowly edged with greenish brown. The body,
besides being thus marked, is also crossed by five vertical broad greenish
black bands, the first extending between the commencement of the dorsal
fin and the origin of the ventrals, and the last about midway between the
dorsal and caudal fins. Dorsal fin brownish purple, the rays lightest;
pectoral fins pale greenish brown ; ventrals brownish green, and the anal and
caudal light reddish brown with tints of purple. Eyes white, with dashes of
coppery green. Lips reddish white.
Colour of Dried Skin. — Top of the head chesnut-brown, glossed with oil-
green ; the sides of the head and the entire of the body greenish white, and
the vertical bands which continue distinct are brownish red. Dorsal fin light
purplish brown, the spines greenish white.
Form, &c. — Figure subovate ; head small, anteriorly pointed, and about
one-fourth of the length of the fish. Superior outline, in front of dorsal
fin, strongly arched, posteriorly to its commencement slightly inclined
towards the tail. Ventral outline throughout slightly arched ; the inter-
maxillary bones admit of being projected considerably forwards, and when
they are so circumstanced there is a considerable hollow in the profile imme-
diately over the eyes, as is to be seen in the figure : when they are otherwise
the slope is regular and continuous. Lips very thick, pulpy and villose.
Incisor teeth of upper jaw twelve in number, closely set, rather narrow,
slanting obliquely forwards, and with the anterior edge formed for cutting,
the posterior edge, is a small elbow between which and the anterior there
is a gently inclined plane diminishing in width backwards ; incisors of lower
jaw eight, nearly horizontal, closely set, and with cutting edges; grinders
small and rounded ; one row in the upper jaw and two in lower. The lateral
line is arched, commences at the upper angle of the operculum, and ter-
minates at the base of the caudal fin about equidistant of each side ; it con-
sists of a series of simple, short, horizontal tubes, most distinct towards the
caudal fin. Upper surface of head, margin of orbit inferiorly, region in front
of eyes, lower jaw, and a broad edging to the preoperculum smooth and
without scales. Operculum, interoperculum, and space between smooth por-
tion of preoperculum and lower edge of orbit covered with small subovate
scales; shoulder scale large, with its edges slightly striated. Scales of body
large, the exposed portion of each subovate, and arranged in oblique trans-
verse rows, the direction from before backwards ; the triangular space in front
of ventral and pectoral fins, as also the nape covered with small scales.
Dorsal fin slightly arched, the fifth spinous ray the longest, the first very short,
and the soft rays shorter than any of the spinous ones excepting the first.
Anal fin also arched, and the second spinous is the longest, and is besides
very robust. Pectoral fins long, the fifth ray, reckoning from upper edge,
rather the longest ; ventral fin supported by a very strong spinous ray not so
long as the second and third, the second towards point much branched ; caudal
fin deeply forked. Length from the nose to the pectoral fin five inches ; from
the nose to the commencement of dorsal 6i inches ; to pectorals 6 inches ;
from nose to tip of lower portion of caudal fin 18 inches. Greatest depth
under commencement of dorsal fin 61 inches. Length from nose to point of
caudal fin 171 inches.
B. 7 ; D. y. j P. 14 ; V. 1 ; A. ^ ; C. 18.
Inhabits the seas of the south-east coast of Southern Africa, and is frequently found in
some of the larger rivers. It feeds upon shell-fish, &c.
SARGUS CAPENSIS.— Smith.
Pisces.— Plate XXIII. Fig. 2.
S. macula nigra subextremitatem posteriorem pinnse dorsalis ; squamis infra oculos subquadrangularibus in
ordinibus arcuatis dispositis ; dentibus incisoribus in maxilla et in mandibula octo ; pinnis ventra-
libus externe accuminatis,
Longitudo e naso ad apicem pinnae caudalis 14* unc.
Colour of Dried Skin.* — The top and the sides of the head, for some
distance below the eyes, dull yellowish brown glossed with oil-green ; the
sides of the head inferiorly, and the entire body pale cream-yellow, with,
towards and on the belly, a distinct tint of flesh-red : — the scales narrowly
edged with brownish red. On the tail immediately behind the posterior ex-
tremity of dorsal fin a large circular brownish red blotch. Dorsal and anal
fins light, dull yellowish brown slightly shaded with brownish red; rays pale
cream-yellow. Caudal, pectoral, and ventral fins light yellowish brown,
rayed with brownish red.
Form, &c. — Figure ovate ; dorsal outline between hinder extremity of dorsal
fin, and a line carried upwards from the upper extremity of preoperculum,
regularly arched ; anterior to the latter the profile is strongly inclined to
the perpendicular ; ventral outline throughout slightly arched. Head small,
and about a quarter of the length of the fish ; muzzle prominent and pointed ;
lips large and pulpy. Nostrils double, situated close to the upper and
anterior edge of the orbit, the one in front of the other. Incisor teeth of
upper jaw oblique, eight in number, closely set, rather broad particularly
towards the points, and the two middle ones considerably the largest ; the
outermost of each side is smaller than the second. The elbow existing at
hinder edge internally is but slightly developed, and the portion of each tooth
between the cutting and hinder edges is concave. Incisors of lower j aw sub-
horizontal, eight in number, all in contact with each other, and the last of
each side rather the smallest ; they are of moderate width, their edges formed for
* The notes descriptive of the colours of the fish, as they appeared when it was caught, have been
cutting, and the base or neck of each, as seen on looking into the mouth, is
lengthened, narrow, and laterally compressed. Molars in both jaws sub-
hemispherical, varying in size, and arranged in two or three irregular rows.
In the upper jaw, besides the molars, there exists also externally to them a
narrow band of short filamentary teeth. Scapulary scale large and semi-
circular, Lateral line slightly and regularly curved ; it commences at the
upper extremity of the operculum, and terminates near the middle of the
caudal fin, and towards and on the latter consists of short, slender, simple
tubes. Preoperculum excepting towards its margin, operculum and inter-
operculum covered with scales, the other parts of head smooth and without
scales; the scales of preoperculum sub-quadrangular, and disposed in arched
rows, the convexity of which is downwards and backwards. Scales covering
the body large, somewhat six-sided ; those towards the back in rows extend-
ing obliquely from before backwards towards the belly in nearly vertical
rows. Scales on base of fins small and irregularly shaped. Dorsal fin
arched, the sixth spinous ray the longest, the first about half the length of
the second ; the cartilaginous rays nearly of equal length, and shorter than
the spinous ones. Anal fin slightly arched, the second and third spiny rays
nearly of equal length and longest, the third the strongest. Pectoral fins
long, the fourth ray the longest; ventral fins rather long and pointed, the
first soft ray being much longer than the innermost one. Caudal fin deeply
forked, the upper and under extremes very pointed. Length from nose to
commencement of dorsal fin 5 inches 2 lines, to pectoral fin 4 inches ; the
base of ventrals directly under the commencement of the dorsal fin. Length
from nose to middle of hinder edge of caudal fin 14 inches.
B. 7; D. 4f ; P. 16; V.£j A. ^ ; C. 19.
Found in the same localities with S. Hottentotus, and consumes the same description of
The shape of the scales below the eyes, the length of the ventral fins, the smaller number
of incisor teeth and the greater number of molars, together with many other minor differences,
constitute characters by which this species is readily to be distinguished from S. Hottentotus.
ATIMOSTOMA* CAPENSIS.— Smith.
Pisces.— Plate XXIV.
A. superne flavo-brunnea, castaneo-tincta ; subtus pallide flavo-brunnea cinnereo tincta ; ore parvo;
dentibus criniformibus brevibus ; pinnis pectoralibus prselongis ; squamis magnis, subovatis.
Longitudo e nasi apice ad extremitatem pinnse caudalis 42 unc.
Colour. — The upper and lateral parts of the head, the back, and the
upper portions of the sides intermediate between buff-orange and yellowish
brown, here and there with tints of chesnut-brown ; the preoperculum in
places tinged with purple ; the lower parts of the sides and the under parts
of the head and body wood-brown, tinted lightly with plum-purple. The
dorsal, anal, and caudal fins orange-coloured brown, dulled with brownish
red ; pectoral fins intermediate between chesnut-brown and yellowish brown.
Form, &c. — Body oblong ovate, and immediately before the caudal fin
very slender, the greatest depth of the body is directly under the first dorsal
fin. The dorsal and ventral outlines are slightly curved, the curvature of the
former being greatest, and its highest point about the commencement of the
first dorsal. Head short and compressed ; snout full and blunt, the nostrils
double, and situated on its sides close to its point, the hindermost is rather
large, circular, and directed outwards, the other is very small and directed
forwards, and both are nearly on the same horizontal line with the upper
edge of the orbit. The upper jaw is rather shorter than the lower, and ante-
riorly truncated ; the lower is narrow, and slightly rounded at the point.
Teeth short, criniform, and arranged in narrow transverse bands, — one along
the anterior edge of each jaw. Preoperculum triangular ; operculum semi-
circular ; interoperculum narrow : all soft and pliant. Scapulary and humeral
plates large, the hinder extremity of the latter terminating in the axilla of the
* Char. Gen. — Body oblong, ovate, and furnished with two dorsal fins, the hindermost very long, as in
Seriola ; anal fin formed like the second dorsal; mouth small, each jaw with a narrow belt of criniform
teeth ; nostrils double, and situated near to the apex of snout. Scales of body large, thin, and very
The first dorsal fin commences immediately over the hinder extremity of
the humeral plates, and a little behind the point of attachment of the pectoral
fin ; the anterior rays, viz. the second, third, and fourth are much the longest,
the last ray, which is close to the first of the second dorsal is scarcely visible.
The first ray of the second dorsal is longest, next to it the second, third, and
fourth, which are nearly of equal length, and considerably longer than the
remaining rays. Pectoral fin rather narrow and very long, the sixth ray the
longest, and the entire fish is exactly three and a half times its length. The
ventral fins are small and short. The anal fin is a little shorter than the
second dorsal and similarly shaped. The caudal is deeply lunated, the
extremities rather pointed.
The head, with the exception of the space immediately behind the poste-
rior edge of the orbit, smooth and without scales; the back, sides, and
under parts covered with large, very pliant, somewhat ovate scales, the
hinder edge of each generally more or less jagged and irregular. The lateral
line commences a little below the upper extremity of the operculum, and
terminates at the base of the caudal fin.
From the tip of the snout to the anterior
edge of the orbit 2 6
of the snout to the hinder
edge of the operculum .. 10 9
of the snout to the com-
mencement of the 1st
dorsal fin 12 9
From the tip of the snout to the base of
the pectoral fin 11 3
Length of the 2nd dorsal fin 11 6
of the pectoral fin 12
of the anal fin 9 9
Total length of fish 36
This fish will take its place in the fourth tribe of the Scomberidae of Cuvier; charac-
terised by the want of spurious finlets, or free spines on the back, and of keeled scales on the
It differs from the several forms which have already been referred to the tribe in various
respects, but in none more than in the size of its scales, and in the universal and regular manner
in which they are placed upon the body and tail. The form of the head is somewhat similar to
that of Nomeus Mauritii; the second dorsal and anal fins are like those of the more typical
species of the second, third, and fourth tribes, and the pectoral fins have their representatives
in all the four divisions; but in the first they are comparatively few.
The specimen described, the only one I have seen, was found on the beach, to the north-
ward of Cape Town, after a heavy gale of wind. It was partially decayed before it was dis-
covered, hence some of the more interesting characters could not be ascertained.
i — i
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SCYLLIUM AFRICANUM.— Auct.
Pisces.— Plate XXV. Fig. 1. (Female.)
S. superne purpureo-griseum, nigro-purpureo tinctura et fasciis nigro brunneis longitudinalibus septem
variegatum, quarum tribus e nasi apice incepientibus ; cirris brevibus, ante marginem labii superioris
Squalus Africantjs, Lin., 1494. 20.
Squalus Vittatus, Shaw, Nat. Misc. PI. 346.
Squale Galonne, Lseeep. 1. 254.
Scyllium Africantjm, Cuv. Reg. Animal, 2. 386.
Colour. — The upper and lateral parts of the head, the back, and the sides,
lavender- purple, tinted with a colour intermediate between blackish purple
and brownish purple red. The back and sides are, in addition to the tints
just specified, further variegated with seven longitudinal blackish brown
stripes generally single, but sometimes, as in the specimen represented,
double; three of the stripes originate at the apex of the snout, one at
each eye, and one immediately behind the last branchial opening. The fins
are of the same colour as the back, the tint towards their base a little darker.
The under parts are pale brownish purple red, slightly clouded, especially
towards the throat and base of pectoral fins, with vermilion red. Eyes light
reddish orange, with a bronze lustre.
Form. — Head and anterior portion of body robust, posterior portion
slender ; the back anteriorly broad and slightly convex, posteriorly com-
pressed and subcarinated. Eyes directly over the angles of the mouth ; the
temporal spiracle is rather large, almost circular, and situated a little behind
and below the posterior junction of the eyelids. Snout rather narrow, and
its apex rounded. Nostrils large, and immediately in front of the upper lip ;
the external half of each oblique, the internal half transverse, and the one
portion is divided from the other by the cirrus, which originates from
the anterior edge of the nostrils, extends across the opening, and terminates
considerably anterior to the edge of the upper lip. Besides the regular
cirrus, there is at its base externally a sort of rudimentary one, consisting of a
slightly triangular elongation of a portion of the anterior edge of each nostril.
Upper jaw semielliptic. Teeth of both jaws closely set, arranged in several
transverse rows, and each tooth tridentate ; the lateral teeth very small.
Branchial openings semilunar, the first the longest, the last the shortest, the
lower extremity of the third slightly in advance of the base of pectoral fin.
Pectoral fins triangular, the outer side considerably the longest, the hinder
side nearly truncated, and forms almost a right angle with the body. The
edge of ventral fins posteriorly oblique, the hinder and inner angle prolonged
and slightly rounded, the hinder and outer much rounded ; the base of the
anal fin equal in measurement to three times and a half its depth. The skin
is densely coated with minute tridentate horny scales, which are placed
nearly perpendicular to its surface, are very closely set, and have their points
inclined slightly backwards ; hence feel very harsh to the hand when moved
from behind forwards. In young specimens the points are but little blunted
from friction, hence in them the asperity is most distinct.
From the tip of the snout to the angle of
the mouth 2 8
of the gape 2 3
of the nose to the centre of
the upper lip 1 3J
of the nose to the anterior
angle of the eye 1 11
of the nose to the base of the
pectoral fin 7 3
From the tip of the nose to the base of the
1st dorsal fin 20
of the 2nd dorsal fin 28
From base of 2nd dorsal fin to tip of
caudal fin 8 2
to tip of caudal fin 6 11
Total length 36 6
Male. — Colours generally, the same as those of the female; body less bulky.
This species abounds in the South African seas, and is known among the fishermen by the
name of lui haai (lazy shark), an appellation it has obtained from its extreme disinclination
to move from its resting place, even when danger threatens it. It resorts to the bottom of the
sea for its food, which consists of shell fish, crustacea, &c. ; and it is often to be seen, where
the water is not very deep, languidly detaching limpets, &c, from the rocks to which they may
The extent of nostril, internal to the cirrus, and the shortness of the latter, constitute charac-
ters by which this species is readily to be distinguished from S. Pantherinum and Variegatum.
SCYLLIUM VARIEGATUM— Smith.
Pisces.— Plate XXV. Fig. 2. (Female.)
S. superne purpureo-griseum maculis fasciisque nigro brunneis variegatum ; subtus flavo-griseum carneo-
tinctum ; cirris ultra labii superioris marginem porrectis.
Colour. — The upper surface of the head, the back and the sides supe-
riorly lavender-purple, tinted with blackish purple, and variegated with
a profusion of small spots and some narrow longitudinal stripes of a blackish
brown colour ; the latter in some specimens continuous, in others broken, and
resembling strings of beads. The stripes are generally two in number on each
side, arise from the same point immediately over the eye ; and from thence,
as they proceed backwards, they diverge slightly, so that where they termi-
nate, under the base of the second dorsal fin, they are commonly about three-
quarters of an inch apart. Lower portion of sides and under parts of head
and body yellowish grey, with a flesh-red tint. Eyes brownish green, with a
Form, &c. — Figure rather slender ; the head superiorly, nearly flat,
laterally, tapered towards the point of the snout, which is slightly rounded.
The hinder angle of the eye is directly over the angle of the mouth ; the
temporal spiracle is a little behind and below the angle of the eye, and rather
smaller than that of S. Pantkerinum. The upper jaw is considerably curved,
and the teeth of both jaws, like those of S. Africanum. Nostrils nearly
transverse, and in a great measure external of the cirri ; the latter are rather
slender, and each is edged, externally and internally, at its base, with a
narrow cuticular fold, and immediately external to the outer fold there is a
narrow portion of skin so projecting as to form a sort of second cirrus to each
nostril. The principal or internal cirrus extends directly backwards, and
its tip projects a little behind the edges of the upper lip. The caudal fin is
exactly one-fifth of the length of the entire fish ; the base of the anal fin is
equal in point of measurement to three times its depth.
From the tip of the nose to the angle of the
mouth 1 10
Breadth of the gape 1 9
From the tip of the nose to the centre of
the upper lip 10
of the nose to the anterior
angle of the eye 1 1
of the nose to the base of the
pectoral fin 4 6
From the tip of the nose to the base of
the first dorsal fin 14 6
of the nose to the base of
the 2nd dorsal fin 17 9
From base of 2nd dorsal to the tip of the
caudal fin , 5 11
From the base to the tip of the caudal fin 4
Total length of fish 23 6
Male. — Colour and markings not known.
The only specimen of the species I have yet seen was caught in Algoa Bay, and when it
was shown to the fishermen it was recognized by them as a rare fish. The length of the
cirri, and the nonextension of the nostrils internally of their base, form characters by which
this species is readily to be distinguished from Scyllium Africanum. The differences between
it and Scyllium Pantherinum are, on the other hand, rather obscure, and consist more in a
multitude of little discrepancies than in any of a very manifest description. The charac-
ters of the markings, in the first place, are different; in 5. Pantherinum no regular stripes
are ever observed ; in S. variegatum again stripes are observed, but neither rings nor tortuous
figures like those always exhibited by the former. The dorsal, anal, and caudal fins of
S. variegatum are larger in proportion than those of 5. Pantherinum, and the hinder edge of the
ventral fins more oblique. The figure of the latter species is also less robust.
SCYLLIUM PANTHERINUM.— Smith.
Pisces. — Plate XXV. Fig. 3. — Female.
S. superne purpureo-griseum, capite pinnisque maculis parvis, nigro-brunneis variegatis ; dorso-lateribusque
annulis, figuribusque linearibus contortis notatis ; cirris ad maxillae marginem posteriorem attingen-
Colour. — The upper and lateral parts of the head, the back, the sides
superiorly, the dorsal fins and the upper surface of the pectoral fins a tint
intermediate between lavender-purple and brownish purple red, the dorsal
and pectoral fins with the reddish or flesh tinge strongest. The sides of the
head inferiorly, the under parts of the body, and the anal and caudal fins
yellowish grey, faintly tinted with flesh red. The upper and lateral parts of
the head, the upper surface of the pectoral and ventral fins, and the lateral
surfaces of the dorsal, anal, and caudal fins freely speckled with small
blackish brown spots, on the head and pectoral fins very numerous and
closely set. Back and sides variegated with brownish black rings scattered
among a variety of other figures, consisting of highly contorted lines of the
same dark colour, some of them approaching the figures of the letters E C
and S : on the middle of the back the markings are smallest, most numerous,
and most closely set ; on the sides they are much larger, and more distant
from each other.
Form, &c— Body anteriorly rather robust, posteriorly slender. Head
slightly depressed and tapered to the point of the snout, the latter narrow,
and slightly rounded ; temporal spiracle rather large, subovate, and a little
behind the outer angle of the eyelids ; nostrils waved, and the inner
extremity of each concealed by a long, slender, and compressed cirrus, which
internally, towards its base, is narrowly edged with a fold of thin skin.
External to its base there is a slightly pointed cuticular prolongation from
the anterior edging of the nostril, which forms a sort of rudimentary cirrus.
The first described, or true cirrus, is posteriorly pointed, and extends back-
wards as far as the hinder edge of the upper lip. Mouth semi-lunar, and
the teeth, which are disposed in transverse rows, are small, slightly curved,
and tridentate. The anterior extremity of base of pectoral fin directly under
the fourth branchial opening ; the external and posterior sides of ventral
fins nearly of equal length, the edge of the latter slightly oblique, the outer
angle much rounded, the inner subacute ; anterior edge of dorsal fin slightly
arched ; the base of anal in length equal to twice its depth. Skin covered
with scales like those of Scyllium Africanum.
From the tip of the snout to the angle of
the mouth 2
Breadth of the gape 2
From the tip of the snout to the centre of
the upper jaw 1
of the snout to the anterior
angle of the eye
From the tip of the snout to the base of
the pectoral fin 5 7^
of the snout to the base of
the 1st dorsal fin 15
,, of the 2nd dorsal fin 19
From the base to the tip of the caud fin 4 3
Total length of fish 25 6
Male. Colours not known.
Specimens of this species are occasionally procured from the sea which washes the eastern
coast of South Africa, and the few individuals I have seen were all taken in the neighbourhood
of Algoa Bay. The peculiar and beautiful markings of this species furnish characters by
which it is to be readily distinguished from S. Africanum. In addition to colour, however,
there are other discrepancies ; the greater proportional depth of the anal fin as compared
with the length of its base ; the difference in the shape of the anterior edge of the first dorsal fin,
the greater length of the cirri, and each crossing the inner extremity of the nostril, instead
of nearly midway between its extremities, as happens in Scyllium Africanum,
i — i
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RHINODON TYPICUS.— Smith.
Pisces —Plate XXVI.
R. superne nigro-griseurh purpureo-tinctum, capite antice pinnisque postice carneo-umbratis ; subfcus,
griseo-album, carneo-tinctum ; capite superne, dorso, lateribus, pinnisque maculis lineisque albis
variegatis ; lateribus bicarinatis ; ore in rostri apice ; dentibus parvis recurvis.
Longitudo e nasi apice ad extremitatem pinna? caudalis 16 ped. 6 unc.
Colour. — The upper and lateral parts of the head and body dull lavender-
purple, shaded with brownish red; the under surface of the head, the sides of
the body interiorly, and the belly, light wood- brown, tinted with flesh-red,
which tint is very strong on the anterior portion of the head and the hinder
edges of the fins. On the upper and lateral parts of the head and body, and
also on several of the fins, the ground colour is much broken by a profusion
of small circular white spots, and a great number of narrow vertical lines,
which commence at the centre of the back and terminate at the belly. The
spots are smallest and most numerous on the head and upper surface of the
pectoral fins, on the other parts they are larger and more scattered ;
and on the caudal fin they are arranged in a single row, close to its upper
edge ; the second dorsal, the anal, and the ventral fins are without spots.
Form, &c. — Head broad, depressed, and somewhat wedge shaped, the
mouth opening directly in front ; teeth small, recurved, closely congregated,
and disposed in a broad transverse belt, along the inner surface of each jaw,
immediately inside of the lips ; eyes lateral and situated almost directly
behind the angles of the mouth ; pupil transversely oval ; temporal orifice
about three-quarters of an inch in diameter. Vertical section of body, in
front of dorsal fin, somewhat triangular, and the back, between that fin and
the middle of the hind head, slightly arched and strongly keeled ; back,
posterior to dorsal fin, flat and depressed. Sides of body irregular from two
distinct longitudinal keels, which commence together a little in front of,
and considerably above, the upper extremity of first branchia, and recede
a little from each other as they proceed backwards. Of these, the lowermost
pursues a waved direction, and at last is lost in, or coalesces with, the keel
on each side of base of caudal fin ; the upper again pursues a more direct
course, becomes forked posteriorly, and both its branches terminate under, and
anterior to, the second dorsal fin ; the keel on each side of the tail very strong
and thin at the outer edge. At the base of the upper lobe of the caudal fin,
there is a transverse groove, to admit of the ready elevation of the fin, a
power so necessary to direct the course of the fish in swimming. The first
dorsal fin, posteriorly, is deeply emarginate, and the second dorsal has its
inferio-posterior angle prolonged into a slender sharp point. Pectoral fins
large, and their hinder edge, towards its base, with a distinct, large, triangular
elongation. Ventral fins very small, and directly below the hinder portion of
the first dorsal ; anal fin also small, quadrangular, and with its superio-
posterior angle prolonged into a point, its anterior edge directly under the
hinder extremity of the base of the second dorsal. Caudal fin deeply forked,
the upper portion larger and much longer than the lower. Branchiae slightly
waved, the first and second much the longest, and, together with the third, are
in front of the base of pectoral fins ; the fourth and fifth are directly over it.
P/iarpicc very large, and the inner extremity of each branchial canal ob-
structed by a sieve-like apparatus, consisting of a conjeries of cartilaginous
tubes closely set together, directed laterally, and the inner extremity of each
fringed with a delicate membrane offering an obstruction to the passage
of anything but fluid. (Esophagus rather narrow, and at its commencement
bends downwards towards the parietes of the abdomen, and forms nearly a
right angle with the fauces, which gives the fish the power of completely pre-
venting what enters its large mouth from being admitted into its stomach, un-
less desirable. The cardiac extremity of the stomach is very muscular, and the
inner surface is studded with hard pointed nipple-like bodies, all of which are
directed backwards, and offer an obstacle to the return of anything solid
from the stomach : the rest of the inner surface of the stomach and the small
intestines closely set with strong rugae, in the stomach oblique, in the intestines
nearly circular, and the latter, when about to terminate in the large intestines,
is also furnished with a number of nipple-like bodies, which prevent solids
from passing downwards. The termination of the small intestines is in the
form of a ring, which projects into the large bowels, and forms an effective valve
when any attempt is made to propel the contents of the large intestines back-
wards into the smaller ones. The inner surface of the former is furnished as in
other sharks, with a spiral band, the one side of which is loose, and by
this arrangement the alimentary fluid requires to pass over an extent of surface
sufficient to permit of the necessary absorption of the nutritive portion of the in-
jesta. The rectum, internally, is quite smooth, and the gland which, in sharks
generally, is situated behind it, also exists in this fish, and opens into the gut
about six inches from the anus. On each side of the latter there is a large
opening, through which a probe can be readily introduced into the cavity of
the peritoneum, and into that cavity, it would appear, the sea water enters
through these openings, as it contained about eight gallons perfectly pure, or
at least only with some animal secretion.
The liver consists of two lobes nearly of equal size, the length of each
three feet and a half; the greatest width thirteen inches, the least six. The
gall-bladder is exterior to the substance of the liver, and situated on its con-
cave or dorsal aspect, close to its base, before it divides into lobes. It is of a
pyriform shape, and the duct is much convoluted, and so large as readily to
admit the fore finger of a full-grown man ; it discharges the bile into the
upper extremity of the large intestines, and the point where it enters their
outer coat is fully two inches higher than that at which it perforates the
inner ; the duct between these two points is contracted and tortuous, and the
terminal opening is not larger than would admit a pea.
The spleen is closely connected with the inferior extremity of the stomach
and the hinder surface of the small intestines, and, excepting where it winds
under the apex of the former, is lobulate, as in the true sharks, and exhibits
a striking resemblance to the spleen of Alopias vulpes, Raf. The pancreas is
slender, and partially encircles the upper extremity of the large intestines.
From mouth to 1st dorsal fin 8 6
1st to 2nd dorsal fin 2
2nd dorsal to caudal fin 1 8
Length of upper lohe of tail 4
lower lobe of tail 2 10
Distance between tip of nose and 1st
branchia 2 10
Distance between tip of nose and eye . 6
eye and temporal
Width of mouth 2 8
From tip of nose to anterior edge of
pectoral fin 3
Length of pectoral fin 3
Breadth at its base 2
Height of 1st dorsal fin 1
Breadth of head about one foot in ad-
vance of branchia 3
Circumference of body immediately
behind pectoral fins 9
Circumference of body one foot behind
pectoral fins 8
Total length offish 16
The stomach was empty, and hence the precise food of the fish could not be
ascertained. That a portion of it, at least, is derived from the mollusca, &c,
which are taken into the mouth and pharynx with the sea water which is
required for the purifying of the blood, is to be inferred from the branchial
openings being so guarded. That the fringe at the inner extremity of the
tubes, which exist in the branchial canals, are for the purpose of intercepting
such small animals as may be contained in the water, I infer from knowing
that the whale (Balcena), which feeds on small mollusca, &c, has the inner
edge of each layer of whalebone converted into a fine floating fringe, which
permits the water taken into its huge mouth to escape, but intercepts all
objects adapted for its food.
When our shark proceeds to feed, the first step it probably takes is to
open its jaws to their full extent, in order to permit the mouth and pharynx
to become filled with sea water. On that being accomplished, the jaws are
then probably closed, in order that the water shall, by muscular efforts in the
pharynx, be propelled through the tubes in the branchiae, and forced thus to
leave behind it whatever mollusca, &c, it may chance to contain. The powers
of deglutition after this are probably called into action, and the oesophagus,
no doubt, is raised and straightened, so as to offer a ready passage downwards
to whatever shall have been collected during the escape of the water. The
mammillary eminences around the cardiac orifice of the stomach appear to
indicate that some, at least, of the articles of food are swallowed alive, and that
they require to be bruised, and also prevented from re-entering the oesophagus,
both of which are probably effected by the processes just mentioned. The
direction taken by the upper part of the oesophagus is evidently for the pur-
pose of enabling it the more effectively to resist the entrance of the water,
when being expelled through the branchiae by the muscular contraction of the
The specimen described was the only one that had been seen at the Cape within the memory
of any of the fishermen. At the time it was discovered, it was swimming leisurely near the
surface of the water, and with a certain portion of the back above it. When approached, it
manifested no great degree of fear, and it was not before a harpoon was lodged in its body that
it altered its course and quickened its pace.
The prepared specimen is deposited in the museum of the Jardin des Plantes of Paris.
CLARIAS CAPENSIS.— Cuv. et Val.
Pisces.— Plate XXVII.
C. superne sordide olivacea, subtus subcamea pallide flavo-brunneo-tincta ; capite depresso, ore antice
hiante; naribus parvis superne patentibus; pinna caudale postice lunuata; linea, laterale antice
curvata postice recta.
Longitudo e capitis apice ad extremitatem pinnse caudalis 25 unc.
Colour. — The upper and lateral parts of the head, the back, the sides of
the body, and the fins, intermediate between apple and oil-green, darkest on
the head. The lower parts of the sides of the head and the body, as also all
the under parts, intermediate between flesh-red and wood-brown, and these,
in common with the parts first specified, exhibit a distinct coppery tint in
certain lights ; cirrhi light honey-yellow ; eyes straw-yellow.
Form, &c. — Figure rather slender; head long, broad, depressed, and
nearly as wide at the muzzle as at the hindhead ; body, anteriorly, sub-
cylindrical, posteriorly compressed. In fresh specimens the surface of the
head and body, which are destitute of scales, are smooth and covered with a
semi-transparent glutinous fluid, like what occurs on eels (Anguilla), &c.
In dried specimens the upper and lateral parts of the head appear covered with
large bony plates, the surface of which is rough and granular, as will be seen
on reference to the figure representing a dried head. Three of these plates, in a
row, are distinctly visible on the side of the head behind the eye, and a fourth
under a portion of the second and third, appearing to constitute a rudimentary
gill-cover. The covering of the upper part of the head appears to be undivided,
and to be only variegated by the existence of a few furrows, destitute of
granules, and by two oval depressions in the course of the mesial line ; the
anterior is of considerable length, situated between the eyes, and considerably
wider behind than in front, the other is towards the nape, and very short as
compared with the former. The hinder edge of the plate covering the upper
surface of the head has three projecting points, with two semi-lunar crescents
between them, the convexity of each forwards ; the middle projection is in
the centre of the nape, in front of the dorsal fin. Mouth broad and opening
directly in front; jaws short and of equal length; cirrhi eight, those at the
angles of the mouth thickest and longest, and in young specimens often
reach almost to the point of the pectoral spines. Nostrals small, ovate,
opening upwards, and furnished each with a slender cirrhus in front of its
anterior extremity. Eyes rather small, in the sides of the head, a little
posterior to the angle of the mouth, and open laterally. Pectoral fins small,
rounded at the apex, and in front armed with a strong depressed hony spine,
the anterior edge of which is finely serrated. Dorsal and anal fins long, low,
and throughout nearly of equal height. Ventral fins small, and oval at the
point. Caudal fin long, and its apex strongly lunate or semi-circular.
Lateral line about midway between the centre of the back and the belly, and
anteriorly, near its origin, slightly arched, elsewhere quite straight ; it termi-
nates at the base of the caudal fin, about midway between its upper and
B. ] ; D. 66; P. J ; V. 6 ; A. 51 ; C. 1 9.
Length of the specimen described 25 inches ; the head, measuring to the
point of the bony projection on the nape, rather more than a fourth of the
This fish occurs in most of the rivers of the interior of South Africa, more particularly in such
as abound in deep pools, the walls of which are of clay or mud. It is common in the Orange
River and its tributaries, but has not yet, so far as I know, been taken in any of the rivers
more to the southward. The specimen from which the description is taken, was caught in a
large lake near to Port Natal, immediately to the eastward of the Umgeni river. It took the
bait with avidity, and many more might have been captured had I thought it necessary to
continue casting the hook.
THE ZOOLOGY OF THE VOYAGE OF H, M. S. BEAGLE,
UNDER THE COMMAND OF CAPT. FITZROY, E.N.
DURING THE YEARS 1832 to 1836.
Edited and Superintended by CHARLES DARWIN, Esq., M.A. F.R.S. V.P.G.S., Naturalist to theExpedition.
Comprising highly-finished representations of the most novel and interesting objects in Natural History, collected during
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Figures are given of many species of animals hitherto unknown or but imperfectly described, together with an account
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The collections were chiefly made in the provinces bordering on the Rio Plata, in Patagonia, the Falkland Islands, Tierra
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THE ZOOLOGY OF THE VOYAGE OE H. M. S. SULPHUR.
Under the command of Capt. SIR EDWARD BELCHER, R.N. C.B. F.R.G.S., &c.
Edited and Superintended by RICHARD BRINSLEY HINDS, Esq., Surg., R.N., Attached to theExpedition.
Among the countries visited by the Sulphur, and which in the present state of Science are invested with more particular
interest, may be mentioned the Californias, Columbia River, the North-west coast of America, the Feejee Group (a portion
of the Friendly Islands), New Hebrides, New Ireland, New Guinea, China, and Madagascar.
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THE BOTANY OF THE VOYAGE OF H. M. S. SULPHUB.
By GEORGE BENTHAM, Esq., F.L.S., &c.
During the widely extended voyage of Her Majesty's Ship Sulphur, the subject of Botany was pursued
with much diligence, many hitherto unexplored localities were visited, and the collections brought home
afford a number of plants of very considerable interest to science, and which are conveniently ^divided into the
. olio wing geographical heads. These different departments are preceded by notices of the climate and seasons,
and of the general features of tbe localities and vegetation, by Mr. Hinds; and the New Species are determined
and described by Mr. Bentham.
I. North-west America, embracing Kikhtak in Alashka, Port Etches in King William's Sound, Rose
Island, Port Mulgrave, Sitka, Nootka Sound, and the Columbia River.
II. California, embracing Bodegas, San Francisco, and the Rio Sacramento in Upper California ; and
San Pedro, San Diego, San Quentin, San Bartolome, Bay of Magdelena, aud Cape San Lucas in Lower
III. Western Tropical America, embracing the island of Puna in the Bay of Guayaquil, Salango, San
Pedro in Columbia, Atacames, Tumaco, island of Gorgona, Panama and the adjacent island of Taboga, Bay of
Honda, Realejo, Gulfs of Nicoya and Fonseca, Acapulco, Manzanilla, San Bias, and the country about Tepic.
IV. Pacific Ocean, embracing the Sandwich Islands, Marquesas Islands, Bow Island in the Pomotou or
low coral islands, and Society Islands.
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presenting a transition vegetation of considerable interest, between the Asiatic and Pacific.
VI. China, embracing Hong-Kong, and the neighbouring islands, with the banks of the Canton River,
and such other situations as circumstances permitted the Naturalists to examine.
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